Chytrid fungi distribution and co-occurrence with diatoms correlate with sea ice melt in the Arctic


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Katja.Metfies [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Global warming is rapidly altering physicochemical attributes of Arctic waters. These changes are predicted to alter microbial networks, potentially perturbing wider community functions including parasite infections and saprotrophic recycling of biogeochemical compounds. Specifically, the interaction between autotrophic phytoplankton and heterotrophic fungi e.g. chytrids (fungi with swimming tails) requires further analysis. Here, we investigate the diversity and distribution patterns of fungi in relation to abiotic variables during one record sea ice minimum in 2012 and explore co-occurrence of chytrids with diatoms, key primary producers in these changing environments. We show that chytrid fungi are primarily encountered at sites influenced by sea ice melt. Furthermore, chytrid representation positively correlates with sea ice-associated diatoms such as Fragilariopsis or Nitzschia. Our findings identify a potential future scenario where chytrid representation within these communities increases as a consequence of ice retreat, further altering community structure through perturbation of parasitic or saprotrophic interaction networks



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Article
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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
51857
DOI 10.1038/s42003-020-0891-7

Cite as
Kilias, E. S. , Junges, L. , Supraha, L. , Leonard, G. , Metfies, K. and Richards, T. A. (2020): Chytrid fungi distribution and co-occurrence with diatoms correlate with sea ice melt in the Arctic , Nature Communications Biology, (3), p. 183 . doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-0891-7


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