2019 Volume 34 Issue 3 Pages 268-277
Microbial colonization, followed by succession, on newly exposed volcanic substrates represents the beginning of the development of an early ecosystem. During early succession, colonization by mosses or plants significantly alters the pioneer microbial community composition through the photosynthetic carbon input. To provide further insights into this process, we investigated the three-year-old volcanic deposits of Mount Merapi, Indonesia. Samples were collected from unvegetated (BRD) and moss-covered (BRUD) sites. Forest site soil (FRS) near the volcanic deposit-covered area was also collected for reference. An analysis of BRD and BRUD revealed high culturable cell densities (1.7–8.5×105 CFU g−1) despite their low total C (<0.01%). FRS possessed high CFU (3×106 g−1); however, its relative value per unit of total C (2.6%) was lower than that of the deposit samples. Based on the tag pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, the BRD bacterial community was characterized by a higher number of betaproteobacterial families (or genus), represented by chemolithotrophic Methylophilaceae, Leptothrix, and Sulfuricellaceae. In contrast, BRUD was predominated by different betaproteobacterial families, such as Oxalobacteraceae, Comamonadaceae, and Rhodocyclaceae. Some bacterial (Oxalobacteraceae) sequences were phylogenetically related to those of known moss-associated bacteria. Within the FRS community, Proteobacteria was the most abundant phylum, followed by Acidobacteria, whereas Burkholderiaceae was the most dominant bacterial family within FRS. These results suggest that an inter-family succession of Betaproteobacteria occurred in response to colonization by mosses, followed by plants.