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Authors: Gagliano, Antonina Lisa* 
Calabrese, Sergio* 
Daskalopoulou, Kyriaki* 
Kyriakopoulos, Konstantinos* 
Tagliavia, Marcello* 
D'Alessandro, Walter* 
Title: Methanotrophy in geothermal soils, an overlooked process: The example of Nisyros island (Greece)
Journal: Chemical Geology 
Series/Report no.: /539 (2020)
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2020.119546
Keywords: Methanotrophy
Soil degassing
Hydrothermal systems
Methane output
Greenhouse gases
Subject Classification05.09. Miscellaneous
Abstract: A multidisciplinary field campaign was carried out at Nisyros Island (Greece). Hydrothermal gases were sampled and analysed, and CH4 and CO2 fluxes from the soils were measured with the accumulation chamber method. The sampling area (Lakki plain) covers an area of about 0.08 km2, and includes the main fumarolic areas of Kaminakia, Stefanos, Ramos, Lofos and Phlegeton. Flux values measured at 130 sites range from −3.4 to 1420 mg m−2 d−1 for CH4 and from 0.1 to 383 g m−2 d−1 for CO2. The fumarolic areas show very different CH4 degassing patterns, Kaminakia showing the highest CH4 output values (about 0.8 t a−1 from an area of about 30,000 m2) and Phlegeton the lowest (about 0.01 t a−1 from an area of about 2500 m2). The total output from the entire geothermal system of Nisyros should not exceed 2 t a−1. Previous indirect estimates of the CH4 output at Nisyros, based on soil CO2 output and CH4/CO2 ratios in fumarolic gases, were more than one order of magnitude higher. The present work further underscores the utmost importance of direct CH4 flux data because indirect methods totally disregard methanotrophic activity within the soil. Ten soil samples were collected for CH4 consumption experiments and for metagenomic analysis. Seven of the soil samples showed small but significant CH4 consumption (up to 39.7 ng g−1 h−1) and were positive for the methanotrophs-specific gene (pmoA) confirming microbial CH4 oxidation in the soil, notwithstanding the harsh environmental conditions (high temperature and H2S concentrations and low pH).
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