Spatial patterns of microbial communities across surface waters of the Great Barrier Reef

Frade, Pedro R., Glasl, Bettina, Matthews, Samuel A., Mellin, Camille, Serrão, Ester A., Wolfe, Kennedy, Mumby, Peter J., Webster, Nicole S., Bourne, David G., and UNSPECIFIED (2020) Spatial patterns of microbial communities across surface waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Communications Biology, 3. 442.

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Microorganisms are fundamental drivers of biogeochemical cycling, though their contribution to coral reef ecosystem functioning is poorly understood. Here, we infer predictors of bacterioplankton community dynamics across surface-waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) through a meta-analysis, combining microbial with environmental data from the eReefs platform. Nutrient dynamics and temperature explained 41.4% of inter-seasonal and cross-shelf variation in bacterial assemblages. Bacterial families OCS155, Cryomorphaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, Synechococcaceae and Rhodobacteraceae dominated inshore reefs and their relative abundances positively correlated with nutrient loads. In contrast, Prochlorococcaceae negatively correlated with nutrients and became increasingly dominant towards outershelf reefs. Cyanobacteria in Prochlorococcaceae and Synechococcaceae families occupy complementary cross-shelf biogeochemical niches; their abundance ratios representing a potential indicator of GBR nutrient levels. One Flavobacteriaceae-affiliated taxa was putatively identified as diagnostic for ecosystem degradation. Establishing microbial observatories along GBR environmental gradients will facilitate robust assessments of microbial contributions to reef health and inform tipping-points in reef condition.

Item ID: 65730
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2399-3642
Copyright Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit © The Author(s) 2020
Funders: Australian Government's National Environmental Science Program (NESP), Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT)
Projects and Grants: FCT SFRH/BDP/110285/2015, FCT SFRH/BSAB/150485/2019, FCT UID/Multi/04326/2019
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2021 23:17
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310703 Microbial ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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