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Microbial biofilms assemble from cells that attach to a surface, where they develop into matrix-enclosed communities. Mechanistic insights into community assembly are crucial to better understand the functioning of natural biofilms, which drive key ecosystem processes in numerous aquatic habitats. We studied the role of the suspended microbial community as(More)
Biofilm formation is controlled by an array of coupled physical, chemical, and biotic processes. Despite the ecological relevance of microbial biofilms, their community formation and succession remain poorly understood. We investigated the effect of flow velocity, as the major physical force in stream ecosystems, on biofilm community succession (as(More)
Glaciers harbour diverse microorganisms, which upon ice melt can be released downstream. In glacier-fed streams microorganisms can attach to stones or sediments to form benthic biofilms. We used 454-pyrosequencing to explore the bulk (16S rDNA) and putatively active (16S rRNA) microbial communities of stone and sediment biofilms across 26 glacier-fed(More)
Recent studies highlight linkages among the architecture of ecological networks, their persistence facing environmental disturbance, and the related patterns of biodiversity. A hitherto unresolved question is whether the structure of the landscape inhabited by organisms leaves an imprint on their ecological networks. We analyzed, based on pyrosequencing(More)
Laboratory studies have documented the extensive architectural differentiation of biofilms into complex structures, including filamentous streamers generated by turbulent flow. Still, it remains elusive whether this spatial organization of natural biofilms is reflected in the community structure. We analyzed bacterial community differentiation between the(More)
Fluvial ecosystems process large quantities of dissolved organic matter as it moves from the headwater streams to the sea. In particular, hyporheic sediments are centers of high biogeochemical reactivity due to their elevated residence time and high microbial biomass and activity. However, the interaction between organic matter and microbial dynamics in the(More)
While glaciers become increasingly recognised as a habitat for diverse and active microbial communities, effects of their climate change-induced retreat on the microbial ecology of glacier-fed streams remain elusive. Understanding the effect of climate change on microorganisms in these ecosystems is crucial given that microbial biofilms control numerous(More)
Streams and rivers form conspicuous networks on the Earth and are among nature's most effective integrators. Their dendritic structure reaches into the terrestrial landscape and accumulates water and sediment en route from abundant headwater streams to a single river mouth. The prevailing view over the last decades has been that biological diversity also(More)
Natural floodplains play an essential role in the processing and decomposition of organic matter and in the self-purification ability of rivers, largely due to the activity of bacteria. Knowledge about the composition of bacterial communities and its impact on organic-matter cycling is crucial for the understanding of ecological processes in(More)
BACKGROUND Evidence increasingly shows that stream ecosystems greatly contribute to global carbon fluxes. This involves a tight coupling between biofilms, the dominant form of microbial life in streams, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), a very significant pool of organic carbon on Earth. Yet, the interactions between microbial biodiversity and the(More)