Data_Sheet_1_Dispersal Modifies the Diversity and Composition of Active Bacterial Communities in Response to a Salinity Disturbance.PDF (238.3 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_Dispersal Modifies the Diversity and Composition of Active Bacterial Communities in Response to a Salinity Disturbance.PDF

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posted on 20.09.2018, 14:18 by Dandan Shen, Silke Langenheder, Klaus Jürgens

Dispersal can influence the response of bacterial communities to environmental changes and disturbances. However, the extent to which dispersal contributes to the community response in dependence of the character and strength of the disturbance remains unclear. Here, we conducted a transplant experiment using dialysis bags in which bacterioplankton originating from brackish and marine regions of the Saint Lawrence Estuary were reciprocally incubated in the two environments for 5 days. Dispersal treatments were set-up by subjecting half of the microcosms in each environment to an exchange of cells between the marine and brackish assemblages at a daily exchange rate of 6% (v/v), and the other half of microcosms were kept as the non-dispersal treatments. Bacterial 16S rRNA sequencing was then used to examine the diversity and composition of the active communities. Alpha diversity of the marine communities that were exposed to the brackish environment was elevated greatly by dispersal, but declined in the absence of dispersal. This indicates that dispersal compensated the loss of diversity in the marine communities after a disturbance by introducing bacterial taxa that were able to thrive and coexist with the remaining community members under brackish conditions. On the contrary, alpha diversity of the brackish communities was not affected by dispersal in either environment. Furthermore, dispersal led to an increase in similarity between marine and brackish communities in both of the environments, with a greater similarity when the communities were incubated in the brackish environment. These results suggest that the higher initial diversity in the brackish than in the marine starting community made the resident community less susceptible to dispersing bacteria. Altogether, this study shows that dispersal modifies the diversity and composition of the active communities in response to a salinity disturbance, and enables the local adjustment of specific bacteria under brackish environmental conditions.

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