Microbial diversity through an oceanographic lens: refining the concept of ocean provinces through trophic-level analysis and productivity-specific length scales


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cora.hoerstmann [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

In the marine realm, microorganisms are responsible for the bulk of primary production, thereby sustaining marine life across all trophic levels. Longhurst provinces have distinct microbial fingerprints; however, little is known about how microbial diversity and primary productivity change at finer spatial scales. Here, we sampled the Atlantic Ocean from south to north (~50°S–50°N), every ~0.5° latitude. We conducted measurements of primary productivity, chlorophyll-a and relative abundance of 16S and 18S rRNA genes, alongside analyses of the physicochemical and hydrographic environment. We analysed the diversity of autotrophs, mixotrophs and heterotrophs, and noted distinct patterns among these guilds across provinces with high and low chlorophyll-a conditions. Eukaryotic autotrophs and prokaryotic heterotrophs showed a shared inter-province diversity pattern, distinct from the diversity pattern shared by mixotrophs, cyanobacteria and eukaryotic heterotrophs. Additionally, we calculated samplewise productivity-specific length scales, the potential horizontal displacement of microbial communities by surface currents to an intrinsic biological rate (here, specific primary productivity). This scale provides key context for our trophically disaggregated diversity analysis that we could relate to underlying oceanographic features. We integrate this element to provide more nuanced insights into the mosaic-like nature of microbial provincialism, linking diversity patterns to oceanographic transport through primary production.



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Article
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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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Peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
54944
DOI 10.1111/1462-2920.15832

Cite as
Hörstmann, C. , Buttigieg, P. L. , John, U. , Raes, E. J. , Wolf-Gladrow, D. , Bracher, A. and Waite, A. (2021): Microbial diversity through an oceanographic lens: refining the concept of ocean provinces through trophic-level analysis and productivity-specific length scales , Environmental Microbiology . doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.15832


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