Microbial Ecology

, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 57–69 | Cite as

Mangrove Sediment Microbiome: Adaptive Microbial Assemblages and Their Routed Biogeochemical Processes in Yunxiao Mangrove National Nature Reserve, China

  • Xiaolan Lin
  • Buce Hetharua
  • Lian Lin
  • Hong Xu
  • Tianling Zheng
  • Zhili He
  • Yun TianEmail author
Environmental Microbiology


Microorganisms play important roles in mangrove ecosystems. However, we know little about the ecological implications of mangrove microbiomes for high productivity and the efficient circulation of elements in mangrove ecosystems. Here, we focused on mangrove sediments located at the Yunxiao National Mangrove Reserve in southeast China, uncovering the mangrove microbiome using the 16S rRNA gene and shotgun metagenome sequencing approaches. Physicochemical assays characterized the Yunxiao mangrove sediments as carbon (C)-rich, sulfur (S)-rich, and nitrogen (N)-limited environment. Then phylogenetic analysis profiling a distinctive microbiome with an unexpected high frequency of Chloroflexi and Nitrospirae appeared to be an adaptive characteristic of microbial structure in S-rich habitat. Metagenome sequencing analysis revealed that the metabolic pathways of N and S cycling at the community-level were routed through ammonification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium for N conservation in this N-limited habitat, and dissimilatory sulfate reduction along with polysulfide formation for generating bioavailable S resource avoiding the biotoxicity of sulfide in mangrove sediments. In addition, methane metabolism acted as a bridge to connect C cycling to N and S cycling. Further identification of possible biogeochemical linkers suggested Syntrophobacter, Sulfurovum, Nitrospira, and Anaerolinea potentially drive the coupling of C, N, and S cycling. These results highlighting the adaptive routed metabolism flow, a previously undescribed property of mangrove sediment microbiome, appears to be a defining characteristic of this habitat and may significantly contribute to the high productivity of mangrove ecosystems, which could be used as indicators for the health and biodiversity of mangrove ecosystems.


Mangrove ecosystem Mangrove sediment microbiome Biogeochemical processes High productivity Element circulation 



We would like to thank Professor John Hodgkiss of the City University of Hong Kong for correcting the English in this manuscript.


This work was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC05061001).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

248_2018_1261_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (163 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 162 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaolan Lin
    • 1
  • Buce Hetharua
    • 1
  • Lian Lin
    • 1
  • Hong Xu
    • 1
  • Tianling Zheng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhili He
    • 3
  • Yun Tian
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Coastal and Wetland Ecosystems, School of Life SciencesXiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental SciencesXiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  3. 3.Environmental Microbiomics Research Center, School of Environmental Science and EngineeringSun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

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