Dynamic responses of the benthic bacterial community at the Western English Channel observatory site L4 are driven by deposition of fresh phytodetritus

Tait, K; Airs, RL; Widdicombe, CE; Tarran, GA; Jones, M; Widdicombe, S. 2015 Dynamic responses of the benthic bacterial community at the Western English Channel observatory site L4 are driven by deposition of fresh phytodetritus. Progress in Oceanography, 137 (B). 546-558. /10.1016/j.pocean.2015.04.020

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Abstract/Summary

The impact of the seasonal deposition of phytoplankton and phytodetritus on surface sediment bacterial abundance and community composition was investigated at the Western English Channel site L4. Sediment and water samples were collected from January to September in 2012, increasing in frequency during periods of high water column phytoplankton abundance. Compared to the past two decades, the spring bloom in 2012 was both unusually long in duration and contained higher than average biomass. Within spring months, the phytoplankton bloom was well mixed through the water column and showed accumulations near the sea bed, as evidenced by flow cytometry measurements of nanoeukaryotes, water column chlorophyll a and the appearance of pelagic phytoplankton at the sediment. Measurements of chlorophyll and chlorophyll degradation products indicated phytoplankton material was heavily degraded after it reached the sediment surface: the nature of the chlorophyll degradation products (predominantly pheophorbide, pyropheophorbide and hydroxychlorophyllone) was indicative of grazing activity. The abundance of bacterial 16S rRNA genes g−1 sediment (used as a proxy for bacterial biomass) increased markedly with the onset of the phytoplankton bloom, and correlated with measurements of chlorophyll at the surface sediment. Together, this suggests that bacteria may have responded to nutrients released via grazing activity. In depth sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes indicated that the composition of the bacterial community shifted rapidly through-out the prolonged spring bloom period. This was primarily due to an increase in the relative sequence abundance of Flavobacteria.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Biology
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Western Channel Observatory
Depositing User: Karen Tait
Date made live: 16 Feb 2016 13:39
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:15
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/6800

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