AME 79:221-233 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01831

Impacts of a reduction in seawater pH mimicking ocean acidification on the structure and diversity of mycoplankton communities

Marlis Reich1,*, Antje Wichels2, Katrin Panzer1,3, Evamaria Krause4, Luis Giménez5, Gunnar Gerdts2

1Molecular Ecology, Institute of Ecology, FB02, University of Bremen, Leobener Str. 2, 28359 Bremen, Germany
2Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, PO Box 180, 27498 Helgoland, Germany
3Jacobs University Bremen GmbH, Department of Life Sciences and Chemistry, Campusring 1, 28759 Bremen, Germany
4Department of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Medicine, BIS—Library and Information Systems, University of Oldenburg, 26015 Oldenburg, Germany
5School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University UK, Askew Street, Menai Bridge, Anglesey LL59 5AB, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) change ocean chemistry, as dissolved CO2 leads to a reduction in the seawater pH. Many marine taxa have been shown to be affected by ocean acidification; however, information on marine fungi is lacking. We analyzed the effect of pH on mycoplankton communities. The pH of microcosms was adjusted to a value mimicking the predicted ocean acidification in the near future. Fungal communities were analyzed using a double-marker gene approach, allowing a more detailed analysis of their response using 454 pyrosequencing. Mycoplankton communities in microcosms with in situ and adjusted water pH values differed significantly in terms of structure and diversity. The differences were mainly abundance shifts among the dominant taxa, rather than the exclusion of fungal groups. A sensitivity to lower pH values was reported for several groups across the fungal kingdom and was not phylogenetically conserved. Some of the fungal species that dominated the communities of microcosms with a lower pH were known pathogenic fungi. With the increasing awareness of the significant role fungi play in marine systems, including performing a diverse range of symbiotic activities, our results highlight the importance of including fungi in further research projects studying and modeling biotic responses to the predicted ocean acidification.


KEY WORDS: Ocean acidification · Marine fungi · Phylogenetic signals · 18S rRNA gene sequence · ITS · Microcosm · Double-marker gene approach


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Cite this article as: Reich M, Wichels A, Panzer K, Krause E, Giménez L, Gerdts G (2017) Impacts of a reduction in seawater pH mimicking ocean acidification on the structure and diversity of mycoplankton communities. Aquat Microb Ecol 79:221-233. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01831

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