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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME - Vol. 70 No. 2 - Feature article

Conceptual spatial and temporal variability of protistan communities: a community collected at the San Pedro Ocean Time-series (SPOT) station on a specific day is compared to communities collected up to 10 km away
within 9 days using the Bray-Curtis similarity index.
Scale bar: pairwise community similarity. Photo: Alle Lie

Lie AAY, Kim DY, Schnetzer A, Caron DA


Small-scale temporal and spatial variations in protistan community composition at the San Pedro Ocean Time-series station off the coast of southern California


Studies of the small-scale variability within protistan assemblages are scarce despite the fact that protists possess high potential growth rates and therefore may respond rapidly to environmental change. The authors investigated the small-scale temporal (daily, for 12 days) and spatial (17 stations, ~ 2 km apart) variability in protistan community composition at a station off the southern California coast using terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Small-scale spatial variability was found to be generally lower than day-to-day variability. Comparison with a long-term time-series dataset from the same locale revealed that long-term (monthly, seasonal, and interannual) variability overshadowed small-scale spatial and temporal variability.


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