Novel microbial communities of the Haakon Mosby mud volcano and their role as a methane sink

Helge Niemann, Tina Lösekann, Dirk De Beer, Marcus Elvert, Thierry Nadalig, Katrin Knittel, Rudolf Amann, Eberhard J. Sauter, Michael Schlüter, Michael Klages, Jean Paul Foucher, Antje Boetius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

384 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mud volcanism is an important natural source of the greenhouse gas methane to the hydrosphere and atmosphere. Recent investigations show that the number of active submarine mud volcanoes might be much higher than anticipated (for example, see refs 3-5), and that gas emitted from deep-sea seeps might reach the upper mixed ocean. Unfortunately, global methane emission from active submarine mud volcanoes cannot be quantified because their number and gas release are unknown. It is also unclear how efficiently methane-oxidizing microorganisms remove methane. Here we investigate the methane-emitting Haakon Mosby Mud Volcano (HMMV, Barents Sea, 72° N, 14° 44′ E; 1,250 m water depth) to provide quantitative estimates of the in situ composition, distribution and activity of methanotrophs in relation to gas emission. The HMMV hosts three key communities: aerobic methanotrophic bacteria (Methylococcales), anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME-2) thriving below siboglinid tubeworms, and a previously undescribed clade of archaea (ANME-3) associated with bacterial mats. We found that the upward flow of sulphate- and oxygen-free mud volcano fluids restricts the availability of these electron acceptors for methane oxidation, and hence the habitat range of methanotrophs. This mechanism limits the capacity of the microbial methane filter at active marine mud volcanoes to <40% of the total flux.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)854-858
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume443
Issue number7113
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 19 2006

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Novel microbial communities of the Haakon Mosby mud volcano and their role as a methane sink'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Niemann, H., Lösekann, T., De Beer, D., Elvert, M., Nadalig, T., Knittel, K., Amann, R., Sauter, E. J., Schlüter, M., Klages, M., Foucher, J. P., & Boetius, A. (2006). Novel microbial communities of the Haakon Mosby mud volcano and their role as a methane sink. Nature, 443(7113), 854-858. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature05227