AME 58:229-239 (2010)  -  DOI:

Total and phytoplankton mediated bottom-up control of bacterioplankton change with temperature in NE Atlantic shelf waters

Xosé Anxelu G. Morán1,2,*, Alejandra Calvo-Díaz1, Hugh W. Ducklow2

1Centro Oceanográfico de Xixón, Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Camín de L’Arbeyal, s/n, 33212 Xixón, Spain
2The Ecosystems Center, MBL, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543-1015, USA

ABSTRACT: The regulation of heterotrophic bacterial growth by resource supply (bottom-up control) was temperature-dependent in our analysis of data obtained during 2006 in the euphotic layer of the southern Bay of Biscay (NE Atlantic) continental shelf. The dataset was split into 2 subgroups using 16°C as the boundary between warm and cool waters based on differences in associated physico-chemical conditions, e.g. inorganic nutrient limitation at higher temperatures. The linear regressions between bacterial biomass (BB) and leucine incorporation rates (LIR) were significantly positive in both temperature regimes, thus indicating similar total bottom-up control, albeit with a slightly higher slope in warm waters (0.33 vs. 0.22). However, the relationship of LIR with phytoplankton biomass (chl a), which is an indicator of bottom-up control that is mediated by phytoplankton, was only significant in waters below 16°C. The analysis of bimonthly variations in the BB-LIR and LIR-chl a correlations indicated that the strength of total bottom-up control significantly increased while the role of phytoplankton in supplying DOM to bacteria diminished with mean temperatures over the 12 to 19°C range, suggesting a seasonal switch in the major source of substrates used by bacteria. We show that the abundance of cells with relatively high nucleic acid content (HNA), which are hypothesized to be the most active ones, was positively associated with bacterial production and specific growth rates in cool but not in warm conditions. These results suggest that HNA bacteria are good predictors of bulk activity and production in temperate ecosystems only when the community relies principally on phytoplankton substrates for growth and metabolism.

KEY WORDS: Bacterioplankton · Bottom-up control · Temperature · Bacterial biomass · Bacterial activity · Phytoplankton · Coastal waters

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Cite this article as: Morán XAG, Calvo-Díaz A, Ducklow HW (2010) Total and phytoplankton mediated bottom-up control of bacterioplankton change with temperature in NE Atlantic shelf waters. Aquat Microb Ecol 58:229-239.

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