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Ecosystem succession on a large deposit of volcanic cinders emplaced on Kilauea Volcano in 1959 has resulted in a mosaic of closed-canopy forested patches and contiguous unvegetated patches. Unvegetated and unshaded surface cinders (Bare) experience substantial diurnal temperature oscillations ranging from moderate (16°C) to extreme (55°C) conditions. The surface material of adjacent vegetated patches (Canopy) experiences much smaller fluctuations (14-25°C) due to shading. To determine whether surface material from these sites showed adaptations by carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2) consumption to changes in ambient temperature regimes accompanying succession, we measured responses of CO and H2 uptake to short-term variations in temperature and long-term incubations at elevated temperature. Based on its broader temperature optimum and lower activation energy, Canopy H2 uptake was less sensitive than Bare H2 uptake to temperature changes. In contrast, Bare and Canopy CO uptake responded similarly to temperature during short-term incubations, indicating no differences in temperature sensitivity. However, during extended incubations at 55°C, CO uptake increased for Canopy but not Bare material, which indicated that the former was capable of thermal adaptation. H2 uptake for material from both sites was completely inhibited at 55°C throughout extended incubations. These results indicated that plant development during succession did not elicit differences in short-term temperature responses for Bare and Canopy CO uptake, in spite of previously reported differences in CO oxidizer community composition, and differences in average daily and extreme temperatures. Differences associated with vegetation due to succession did, however, lead to a notable capacity for thermophilic CO uptake by Canopy but not Bare material. © 2012 International Society for Microbial Ecology All rights reserved.

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ISME Journal

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