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Phytoplankton settling quality has a subtle but significant effect on sediment microeukaryotic and bacterial communities
Stockholm University, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Sweden .
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4587-8541
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5802-5126
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2021 (English)In: Scientific Reports, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 11, no 1, article id 24033Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In coastal aphotic sediments, organic matter (OM) input from phytoplankton is the primary food resource for benthic organisms. Current observations from temperate ecosystems like the Baltic Sea report a decline in spring bloom diatoms, while summer cyanobacteria blooms are becoming more frequent and intense. These climate-driven changes in phytoplankton communities may in turn have important consequences for benthic biodiversity and ecosystem functions, but such questions are not yet sufficiently explored experimentally. Here, in a 4-week experiment, we investigated the response of microeukaryotic and bacterial communities to different types of OM inputs comprising five ratios of two common phytoplankton species in the Baltic Sea, the diatom Skeletonema marinoi and filamentous cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena. Metabarcoding analyses on 16S and 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) at the experiment termination revealed subtle but significant changes in diversity and community composition of microeukaryotes in response to settling OM quality. Sediment bacteria were less affected, although we observed a clear effect on denitrification gene expression (nirS and nosZ), which was positively correlated with increasing proportions of cyanobacteria. Altogether, these results suggest that future changes in OM input to the seafloor may have important effects on both the composition and function of microbenthic communities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature, 2021. Vol. 11, no 1, article id 24033
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Environmental Studies; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-47894DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-03303-xISI: 000730739800052PubMedID: 34911983Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85121378825OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-47894DiVA, id: diva2:1622052
Part of project
Response and recovery of benthic biodiversity and ecosystem functions to chemical pollution and eutrophication, The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2016-00804Swedish Research Council Formas, 2015-1320The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 77/2017Available from: 2021-12-21 Created: 2021-12-21 Last updated: 2022-09-15Bibliographically approved

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Motwani, Nisha H.Sjöling, Sara

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