Landfill methanotrophs play an important role in greenhouse gas reduction. To understand the dynamics of methanotroph population, quantitative polymerase chain reaction methods (q-PCR) and terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses were used to explore the methanotrophic communities in tropical alkaline landfill soils at 20 and 40cm depths with different vegetation during a year round study. The q-PCR revealed that the amount of methanotrophs were 1.25×103 to 1.93×106 pmoA-copy (gdrywtsoil)-1 and were negatively correlated with accumulated precipitation before sampling. The pmoA-based T-RFLP analyses showed that Methylocaldum related populations were dominant for a long residence time, and Methylocystis related populations were dominant in the deeper sites of milk bush-covered region. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that vegetation, accumulated precipitation, temperature, sampling depth and soil pH could affect the methanotrophic community structures. The pmoA-based T-RFLP analysis used in this study provided good resolution within type I methanotrophs and could easily distinguish between type I and type II methanotrophs.
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