Response of a summertime Antarctic marine bacterial community to glucose and ammonium enrichment
Ducklow, Hugh W.
Myers, Kristen M. S.
Murray, Alison E.
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Along the western Antarctic Peninsula, marine bacterioplankton respond to the spring phytoplankton bloom with increases in abundance, production and growth rates, and a seasonal succession in bacterial community composition (BCC). We investigated the response of the bacterial community to experimental additions of glucose and ammonium, alone or in combination, incubated in replicate carboys (each: 50 l) over 10 d in November 2006. Changes in bulk properties (abundance, production rates) in the incubations resembled observations in the nearshore environment over 8 seasons (2001 to 2002 through 2008 to 2009) at Palmer Stn (64.8°S, 64.1°W). Changes in bulk properties and BCC in ammonium-amended carboys were small relative to controls, compared to the glucose-amended treatments. The BCC in Day 0 and Day 10 controls and ammonium treatments were >72% similar when assessed by denaturing-gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), length heterogeneity polymerase chain reaction (LH-PCR) and capillary electrophoresis single-strand conformation polymorphism (CE-SSCP) fingerprinting techniques. Bacterial abundance increased 2- to 10-fold and leucine incorporation rates increased 2- to 30-fold in the glucose treatments over 6 d. The BCC in carboys receiving glucose (with or without ammonium) remained >60% similar to that in Day 0 controls at 6 d and evolved to <20% similar to that in Day 0 controls after 10 d incubation. The increases in bacterial production rates, and the changes in BCC, suggest that selection for glucose-utilizing bacteria was slow under the ambient environmental conditions. The results suggest that organic carbon enrichment is a major factor influencing the observed winter-to-summer increase in bacterial abundance and activity. In contrast, the BCC was relatively robust, changing little until after repeated additions of glucose and prolonged (~10 d) incubation.
Author Posting. © Inter-Research, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of Inter-Research for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Aquatic Microbial Ecology 64: 205-220, doi:10.3354/ame01519.
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