Microbial response to a mesoscale iron enrichment in the NE Subarctic Pacific: bacterial community composition

N. Agawin, Michelle Hale, R. Rivkin, P. Matthews, W. Li

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    Changes in microbial community composition were determined during the subarctic ecosystem response to iron enrichment study (SERIES), a mesoscale Fe enrichment conducted in a high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC) region of the Northeast Subarctic Pacific, in July 2002. Phylogenetic composition using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), relative DNA content using flow cytometry (FCM), and cellular morphometrics (shape and volume) of heterotrophic bacteria were used to characterize community composition from samples collected within and below the mixed layer, inside and outside the Fe-patch. The proportion of total cells detected as members of the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium cluster increased in a log-linear manner from 16 (±1.0)% to 47 (±1.9)% in samples within the mixed layer, inside the Fe-enriched patch, while outside the patch, the proportion remained ⩽21 (±2.2)%. Temporal changes in the proportion of cells in the mixed layer with high DNA content (% HDNA) were significantly different inside and outside the Fe-enriched patch, where inside the patch % HDNA increased 2-fold after a week, reaching 93% towards the end of the observation period. Coupling in situ observations with the results of manipulation experiments allowed us to determine the relative contributions of bottom-up (nutrient limitation) and top-down (grazing) processes on heterotrophic bacterial abundance and community composition. Shifts in heterotrophic bacterial community composition inside the Fe-enriched patch were mainly controlled by top-down processes and moderately controlled by bottom-up controls (organic substrate limitation).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2248-2267
    Number of pages20
    JournalDeep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
    Issue number20-22
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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