Marine bacterial community structure resilience to changes in protist predation under phytoplankton bloom conditions

Federico Baltar*, Joakim Palovaara, Fernando Unrein, Philippe Catala, Karel Horňák, Karel Šimek, Dolors Vaqué, Ramon Massana, Josep M. Gasol, Jarone Pinhassi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To test whether protist grazing selectively affects the composition of aquatic bacterial communities, we combined high-throughput sequencing to determine bacterial community composition with analyses of grazing rates, protist and bacterial abundances and bacterial cell sizes and physiological states in a mesocosm experiment in which nutrients were added to stimulate a phytoplankton bloom. A large variability was observed in the abundances of bacteria (from 0.7 to 2.4 × 10 6 cells per ml), heterotrophic nanoflagellates (from 0.063 to 2.7 × 10 4 cells per ml) and ciliates (from 100 to 3000 cells per l) during the experiment (∼3-, 45- and 30-fold, respectively), as well as in bulk grazing rates (from 1 to 13 × 10 6 bacteria per ml per day) and bacterial production (from 3 to 379 μg per C l per day) (1 and 2 orders of magnitude, respectively). However, these strong changes in predation pressure did not induce comparable responses in bacterial community composition, indicating that bacterial community structure was resilient to changes in protist predation pressure. Overall, our results indicate that peaks in protist predation (at least those associated with phytoplankton blooms) do not necessarily trigger substantial changes in the composition of coastal marine bacterioplankton communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-581
Number of pages14
JournalISME Journal
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

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    Baltar, F., Palovaara, J., Unrein, F., Catala, P., Horňák, K., Šimek, K., Vaqué, D., Massana, R., Gasol, J. M., & Pinhassi, J. (2016). Marine bacterial community structure resilience to changes in protist predation under phytoplankton bloom conditions. ISME Journal, 10(3), 568-581. https://doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2015.135