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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 485:9-24 (2013)  -  DOI:

Bacterial community of oolitic carbonate sediments of the Bahamas Archipelago

Mara R. Diaz1,*, Alan M. Piggot2, Gregor P. Eberli2, James S. Klaus2,3

1Marine Biology and Fisheries, and 2Marine Geology and Geophysics, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida 33149, USA
3Department of Geological Sciences, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida 33146, USA

ABSTRACT: The present study characterized bacterial communities associated with oolitic carbonate sediments from the Bahamas Archipelago, ranging from high-energy ‘active’ to lower energy ‘non-active’ and ‘mat-stabilized’ environments. Bacterial communities were analyzed using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (TRFLP), clone analyses of the 16S rRNA gene, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and the quantitative phenol-sulfuric acid assay for extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Confocal imaging of oolitic grains stained with cyanine dye-conjugated lectin and EPS quantification demonstrated that all 3 environments harbored attached biofilm communities, but densities increased from the active to the mat-stabilized environment. Bacterial communities associated with all 3 settings were highly diverse and dominated by Proteobacteria (50 to 61%). Analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) and similarity percentages (SIMPER) revealed significant differences among the 3 environments in the relative abundance of Proteobacteria, Planctomycetes, Cyanobacteria, Chlorobi, and Deinococcus-Thermus. Bacterial primary production in the active shoal environment was associated with Rhodobacteraceae, Ectothiorhodospiraceae, and Chlorobi, whereas the lower energy environments appear to harbor a more complex consortium of aerobic photoautotrophs and anaerobic/aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs. The ubiquitousness of photosynthetizers, along with the presence of aerobic/anaerobic heterotrophic microbes (e.g. denitrifiers, sulfate-reducers, biofilm producers/degraders) and the gradient increase in biofilm production on ooid grains from active to mat-stabilized environments, support the potential involvement of these communities in biomineralization and carbonate precipitation.

KEY WORDS: Ooids · Carbonate sediment · Carbonate precipitation · 16S rRNA diversity · Bacterial community · Biofilm

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Cite this article as: Diaz MR, Piggot AM, Eberli GP, Klaus JS (2013) Bacterial community of oolitic carbonate sediments of the Bahamas Archipelago. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 485:9-24.

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