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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 35:259-273 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/ame035259

Bottom-up and top-down control of bacterial community composition in the euphotic zone of a reservoir

Ludwig Jardillier1, Maryline Basset1, Isabelle Domaizon1,2, André Belan1, Christian Amblard1, Mathilde Richardot1, Didier Debroas1,*

1Université Blaise Pascal, Laboratoire de Biologie des Protistes UMR CNRS 6023. 63177 Aubière, France
2Present address: Université de Savoie, CARRTEL, 73376 Le Bourget du Lac, France
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Temporal changes in the bacterial community composition (BCC) and the impact of resources and predation on this community composition have been studied in the euphotic zone of the Sep reservoir (France), using terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) for Eubacteria (EUB338) and eubacterial subgroups. Net growth and grazing rates of the various subgroups were computed from experiments conducted in dialysis bags in the presence or absence of predators. There was a significant difference between the grazing rates of different bacterial groups and subclasses, the alpha-proteobacteria (ALF1b) were subjected to the highest grazing rate (max. 1.76 d-1). In contrast, the beta-proteobacteria (BET42a) seemed to be little consumed by bacterivorous organisms, and predation led to large variations in the grazing rates of Cytophaga-Flavobacterium (CF319a). The different composition of bacterial consumers (Dinobryon sp. and Cladocera) during the study could explain the observed differences in grazing impact. The mean net growth rates of total bacteria, EUB338, BET42a ALF1b, and CF319a in dialysis bags without predators were 0.21, 0.69, 0.45, 0.50 and 0.84 d-1, respectively. Various statistical analyses indicated that the BCC could depend on the organic matter excreted by the phytoplankton. There were also positive correlations not only between net growth and/or net production of ALF1b and CF319a with the primary production and biomass of the main phytoplankton groups, but also between phytoplankton biomass, primary production (PP) and some operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Among the physical variables, input and output of water in the reservoir seem to play a role in determining the BCC in this ecosystem. The results suggest that the BCC depends on the combined impact of dominant substrate sources and selective predation by bacterial consumers.

KEY WORDS: Bacterial community composition · Top-down · Bottom-up · Reservoir · Terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism · Fluorescent in situ hybridization

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