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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 73:107-121 (2014)  -  DOI:

Marine bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic diversity and community structure on the continental shelf of the western Antarctic Peninsula

Catherine M. Luria1,2, Hugh W. Ducklow3, Linda A. Amaral-Zettler1,2,4,*

1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA
2The Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
3Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, New York 10964, USA
4Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The classic view of polar ocean foodwebs emphasizes large predators sustained by energy and material flow through short, efficient diatom-krill-predator food chains. Bacterial activity is generally low in cold polar waters compared to that at lower latitudes. This view appears to be changing, with new studies of microbial foodwebs in Arctic and Antarctic oceans. We characterized bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic community diversity and composition from 2 depths (near surface and below the euphotic zone) at 4 sites, including the inshore and offshore, and north and south corners of a sampling grid along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). We detected up to 2-fold higher richness in microbial eukaryotes at surface and deep inshore northern stations as compared to southern stations, but offshore northern and southern stations revealed either no trend or higher richness at depth in the south. In contrast, bacterial and archaeal richness showed no significant differences either inshore or offshore at northern versus southern extents, but did vary with depth. Archaea were virtually absent in summer surface waters, but were present in summer deep and winter surface samples. Overall, winter bacterial and archaeal assemblages most closely resembled summer sub-euphotic zone assemblages, reflecting well-established seasonal patterns of water column turnover and stratification that result in an isolated layer of ‘winter water’ below the euphotic zone. Inter-domain heterotroph-phototroph interactions were evident from network analysis. The WAP is among the most rapidly warming regions on earth. Our results provide a baseline against which future change in microbial communities may be assessed.

KEY WORDS: Antarctica · MIRADA-LTERS · Palmer LTER · Pyrosequencing · V6 · V9 · Microbial oceanography

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Cite this article as: Luria CM, Ducklow HW, Amaral-Zettler LA (2014) Marine bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic diversity and community structure on the continental shelf of the western Antarctic Peninsula. Aquat Microb Ecol 73:107-121.

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