Marine vertebrates impact the bacterial community composition and food webs of Antarctic microbial mats
EntityUAM. Departamento de Biología; UAM. Departamento de Ecología
10.3389/fmicb.2022.841175Frontiers in Microbiology 13 (2022): 8841175
ProjectGobierno de España. PID2020-116520RB-I00; Gobierno de España. CTM2016-79741-R; Gobierno de España. PCIN-2016-001
Subjectspenguins, nitrogen, phosphorus, microbial mat, trophic relationships, bacterial community, Antarctica; Biología y Biomedicina / Biología
RightsCopyright © 2022 Almela, Velázquez, Rico, Justel and Quesada
Esta obra está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución 4.0 Internacional.
The biological activity of marine vertebrates represents an input of nutrients for Antarctic terrestrial biota, with relevant consequences for the entire ecosystem. Even though microbial mats assemble most of the biological diversity of the non-marine Antarctica, the effects of the local macrofauna on these microecosystems remain understudied. Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, 13C and 15N stable isotopes, and by characterizing the P and N-derived nutrient levels, we evaluated the effects of penguins and other marine vertebrates on four microbial mats located along the Antarctic Peninsula. Our results show that P concentrations, C/N and N/P ratios, and δ 15N values of “penguin-impacted” microbial mats were significantly higher than values obtained for “macrofauna-free” sample. Nutrients derived from penguin colonies and other marine vertebrates altered the trophic interactions of communities within microbial mats, as well as the relative abundance and trophic position of meiofaunal groups. Twentynine bacterial families from eight different phyla significantly changed with the presence of penguins, with inorganic nitrogen (NH4 + and NO3 −) and δ 15N appearing as key factors in driving bacterial community composition. An apparent change in richness, diversity, and dominance of prokaryotes was also related to penguin-derived nutrients, affecting N utilization strategies of microbial mats and relating oligotrophic systems to communities with a higher metabolic versatility. The interdisciplinary approach of this study makes these results advance our understanding of interactions and composition of communities inhabiting microbial mats from Antarctica, revealing how they are deeply associated with marine animals
Google Scholar:Almela Gómez, Pablo - Velázquez, David - Rico Eguizabal, Eugenio - Justel Eusebio, Ana María - Quesada del Corral, Antonio
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