AME 69:211-221 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01641

Community composition and extracellular enzyme activity of bacteria associated with suspended and sinking particles in contrasting arctic and sub-arctic marine environments

Tobias Tamelander*

Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, University of Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø, Norway Present address: Institute of Marine Sciences, CSIC, Pg Maritim de la Barceloneta 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

ABSTRACT: Heterotrophic bacteria contribute to controlling the oceans? biological carbon pump by solubilising organic particles and by using the dissolved organic matter for growth. To better understand how bacteria colonise and degrade vertically exported organic matter, spatial and temporal variations in the bacterial community composition (BCC) and cell-specific extracellular enzyme activity were investigated in water column samples and in sinking material collected by short-term deployed sediment traps in the Barents Sea (Arctic Ocean) and in a North-Norwegian fjord. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis showed that both the suspended and sinking BCC differed among locations (Arctic Water, Atlantic Water and fjord) and with time (summer vs. autumn in the fjord). Within stations, the BCC differed between shallow (20 to 50 m) and deep (120 or 200 m) suspended samples. The sediment traps revealed no depth-related difference but had high similarity to the shallow suspended samples, indicating that the exported community largely derived from suspended particles in the upper mixed layer and that little new colonisation or succession of the resident community took place during transfer to depth. Bacteria in the sediment traps tended to have higher enzyme activities compared to suspended bacteria, likely reflecting a response to aggregation and different composition (carbon, nitrogen and chlorophyll) of suspended and sinking organic matter. While the present study demonstrates that particle export from the surface layer contributes to microbial diversity in the deep sea, future studies using high taxonomical resolution are required to further evaluate the importance of this dispersal pathway.


KEY WORDS: Marine particles · Sediment traps · Bacterial community composition · DGGE · Extracellular enzyme activity · Arctic Ocean · Barents Sea · Fjord


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Cite this article as: Tamelander T (2013) Community composition and extracellular enzyme activity of bacteria associated with suspended and sinking particles in contrasting arctic and sub-arctic marine environments. Aquat Microb Ecol 69:211-221. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01641

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