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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 69:223-229 (2013)  -  DOI:

Weak seasonality and synchrony among bacterial communities in small pools

Örjan Östman1,*, Silke Langenheder2

1Department of Ecology and Genetics/Animal Ecology, and 2Department of Ecology and Genetics/Limnology, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, Uppsala 752 36, Sweden

ABSTRACT: Temporal dynamics of microbial communities show seasonal trends and synchronous dynamics between communities in different aquatic habitats, but previous studies have mainly focused on larger systems such as oceans, rivers, or lakes. However, a large part of aquatic water bodies consists of small pools, ponds, and streams, which tend to be environmentally heterogeneous over relatively small spatial scales. We studied a bacterial metacommunity of 16 rock pools at a spatial scale of 600 m2, which was sampled at approximately monthly intervals over the course of 1 yr. We show that temporal dynamics were not evidently synchronous between rock pools over time and that there was no clear seasonal pattern. The environmental variable that explained the most of the temporal dynamics in rock pools over time was water colour, which is often not the main variable explaining spatial differences in bacterial composition between pools. Our results suggest that temporal dynamics of bacterial communities both among and within small water bodies show markedly different patterns compared to larger previously investigated systems, presumably due to their larger heterogeneity and less synchronous environmental changes.

KEY WORDS: Bacterioplankton · Seasonal dynamics · Spatial synchrony · Time series · t-RFLP

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Cite this article as: Östman Ö, Langenheder S (2013) Weak seasonality and synchrony among bacterial communities in small pools. Aquat Microb Ecol 69:223-229.

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