AME 70:131-140 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01650

Microbial biogeography during austral summer 2007 in the surface waters around the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

Lasse Mork Olsen1,*, Murat Van Ardelan2, Christopher D. Hewes3, Osmund Holm-Hansen3, Christian Reiss4, Nihayet Bizsel5, Egil Sakshaug1, Olav Vadstein6

1Department of Biology, and 2Department of Chemistry, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim 7491, Norway
3Polar Research Program, Marine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0202, USA
4NOAA Fisheries, Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division, La Jolla, California 92037, USA
5Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology, Dokuz Eylul University, Baku Bulvari No. 100 Inciralti, 35340 Izmir, Turkey
6Department of Biotechnology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim 7491, Norway

ABSTRACT: Recent studies have concluded that different water bodies in the ocean can contain different microbial communities. The goal of the present study was to determine if biogeographic patterns are present for aquatic microbes in waters which meet around the South Shetland Islands (SSI), Antarctica. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic marine microbial communities were monitored during the 2007 austral summer by use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of small subunit ribosomal DNA. Hydrographic properties, nutrients and chlorophyll a were also measured. There was an onshore to offshore gradient in temperature, salinity and iron concentration and a unimodal distribution of chlorophyll a concentration in relation to the middle of this gradient that occurred near the SSI. The differences in microbial community structure among stations in the studied area were correlated with both geographical distance and environmental factors. For eukaryotes, the correlation was strongest for environment, whereas it was strongest for geographical distance for the prokaryotes. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic community structures were highly correlated. Surface water from the Weddell Sea had a different community of eukaryotes than the water in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current in the Drake Passage, whereas the prokaryotic community was not significantly different. The area close to the SSI where the 2 water types mix had the highest chlorophyll concentration and significantly different communities of eukaryotes and prokaryotes from both of the inflowing water types. These results suggest that the prokaryote community structure was more affected by productivity than by environmental variables.


KEY WORDS: Microbial biogeography · Microbial community · Natural iron enrichment · Southern Ocean


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Cite this article as: Olsen LM, Ardelan MV, Hewes CD, Holm-Hansen O and others (2013) Microbial biogeography during austral summer 2007 in the surface waters around the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Aquat Microb Ecol 70:131-140. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01650

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