The spatial distribution of bacterial populations in marine bioaerosol samples was investigated during a cruise from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea via Skagerrak and Kattegat. The analysis of the sampled bacterial communities with a pyrosequencing approach revealed that the most abundant phyla were represented by the Proteobacteria (49.3%), Bacteroidetes (22.9%), Actinobacteria (16.3%), and Firmicutes (8.3%). Cyanobacteria were assigned to 1.5% of all bacterial reads. A core of 37 bacterial OTUs made up more than 75% of all bacterial sequences. The most abundant OTU was Sphingomonas sp. which comprised 17% of all bacterial sequences. The most abundant bacterial genera were attributed to distinctly different areas of origin, suggesting highly heterogeneous sources for bioaerosols of marine and coastal environments. Furthermore, the bacterial community was clearly affected by two environmental parameters – temperature as a function of wind direction and the sampling location itself. However, a comparison of the wind directions during the sampling and calculated backward trajectories underlined the need for more detailed information on environmental parameters for bioaerosol investigations. The current findings support the assumption of a bacterial core community in the atmosphere. They may be emitted from strong aerosolizing sources, probably being mixed and dispersed over long distances.
Helmholtz Research Programs > PACES II (2014-2018) > TOPIC 2: Fragile coasts and shelf sea > WP 2.2: Species interactions in changing and exploited coastal seas