Redox-Specialized Bacterioplankton Metacommunity in a Temperate Estuary


This study explored the spatiotemporal dynamics of the bacterioplankton community composition in the Gulf of Finland (easternmost sub-basin of the Baltic Sea) based on phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences acquired from community samples via pyrosequencing. Investigations of bacterioplankton in hydrographically complex systems provide good insight into the strategies by which microbes deal with spatiotemporal hydrographic gradients, as demonstrated by our research. Many ribotypes were closely affiliated with sequences isolated from environments with similar steep physiochemical gradients and/or seasonal changes, including seasonally anoxic estuaries. Hence, one of the main conclusions of this study is that marine ecosystems where oxygen and salinity gradients co-occur can be considered a habitat for a cosmopolitan metacommunity consisting of specialized groups occupying niches universal to such environments throughout the world. These niches revolve around functional capabilities to utilize different electron receptors and donors (including trace metal and single carbon compounds). On the other hand, temporal shifts in the bacterioplankton community composition at the surface layer were mainly connected to the seasonal succession of phytoplankton and the inflow of freshwater species. We also conclude that many relatively abundant populations are indigenous and well-established in the area.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122304

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@inproceedings{Laas2015RedoxSpecializedBM, title={Redox-Specialized Bacterioplankton Metacommunity in a Temperate Estuary}, author={Peeter Laas and Jaak Simm and Inga Lips and Urmas Lips and Veljo Kisand and Madis Metsis}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2015} }