Exploring the mechanisms by which reindeer droppings induce fen peat methane production
Fritze, H., Penttilä, T., Mäkiranta, P., Laiho, R., Tuomivirta, T., Forsman, J., Kumpula, J., Juottonen, H., & Peltoniemi, K. (2021). Exploring the mechanisms by which reindeer droppings induce fen peat methane production. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 160, Article 108318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2021.108318
Published inSoil Biology and Biochemistry
© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Peatlands, especially fens, are known to emit methane. Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) use mires mainly as spring and summer pastures. In this work we observed that adding reindeer droppings to fen peat increased the potential methane production by 40 %. This became apparent when droppings originating from reindeer kept in pen or pasture in winter were added to methanogenic fen peat samples. The droppings introduced Methanobacteriaceae (Methanobrevibacter; > 90 % of the mcrA MiSeq reads) to the peat originally characterized by Methanosarcinaceae, Methanosaetaceae, Methanoregulaceae, Methanobacteriaceae, Methanomassiliicoccaceae, Methanocellaceae and Methanomicrobiaceae. The community structure did not explain the induced methane production and neither did the origin of the droppings. Instead, the increment in methane production was explained by the increased methanogenic abundance, measured by mcrA qPCR, due to the addition of droppings. The result verifies that rumen methanogens of reindeer participate in peat methane production. This finding suggests that reindeer grazing may increase methane emissions in northern fens. ...