Bioaerosols in the Amazon rain forest: temporal variations and vertical profiles of Eukarya, Bacteria, and Archaea

Prass, Maria; Andreae, Meinrat O.; de Araùjo, Alessandro C.; Artaxo, Paulo; Ditas, Florian; Elbert, Wolfgang; Förster, Jan-David; Franco, Marco Aurélio; Hrabe de Angelis, Isabella; Kesselmeier, Jürgen; Klimach, Thomas; Kremper, Leslie Ann; Thines, Eckhard; Walter, David; Weber, Jens; Weber, Bettina; Fuchs, Bernhard M.; Pöschl, Ulrich; Pöhlker, Christopher

The Amazon rain forest plays a major role in global hydrological cycling, and biogenic aerosols are likely to influence the formation of clouds and precipitation. Information about the sources and altitude profiles of primary biological aerosol particles, however, is sparse. We used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), a molecular biological staining technique largely unexplored in aerosol research, to investigate the sources and spatiotemporal distribution of Amazonian bioaerosols on the domain level. We found wet season bioaerosol number concentrations in the range of 1–5 inline-formula× 10inline-formula5 minline-formula−3 accounting for inline-formula> 70 % of the coarse mode aerosol. Eukaryotic and bacterial particles predominated, with fractions of inline-formula∼ 56 % and inline-formula∼ 26 % of the intact airborne cells. Archaea occurred at very low concentrations. Vertical profiles exhibit a steep decrease in bioaerosol numbers from the understory to 325 m height on the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO), with a stronger decrease in Eukarya compared to Bacteria. Considering earlier investigations, our results can be regarded as representative for near-pristine Amazonian wet season conditions. The observed concentrations and profiles provide new insights into the sources and dispersion of different types of Amazonian bioaerosols as a solid basis for model studies on biosphere–atmosphere interactions such as bioprecipitation cycling.



Prass, Maria / Andreae, Meinrat O. / de Araùjo, Alessandro C. / et al: Bioaerosols in the Amazon rain forest: temporal variations and vertical profiles of Eukarya, Bacteria, and Archaea. 2021. Copernicus Publications.


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