Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled with sulfate reduction (SR) is an important process in cold- seep ecosystems to prevent methane emitted from the seafloor to the atmosphere. However, how the temperature and sulfate in seep habitats drive the SR- AOM process and further affect the methane cycles remains unknown. We simulated the habitat differences in sulfate and temperature using a high-pressure bioreactor system with a fed-batch mode for in vitro incubation of seep sediment. We found that SR-AOM was significantly affected by increased temperature (15 °C). The AOM activity was increased by sulfate supply (+15 mM), even at a low temperature (8 °C). Our findings provide a new insight into the methane budget in cold seeps.
Keywords Cold seep, Anaerobic oxidation of methane, Sulfate, Temperature, Sediment incubation