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Erik Jeppesen

Changes in bacterioplankton community structure during early lake ontogeny resulting from the retreat of the Greenland Ice Sheet

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  • Hannes Peter, Ecole Polytech Fed Lausanne, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Stream Biofilm & Ecosyst Res Lab
  • ,
  • Erik Jeppesen
  • Luc De Meester, Katholieke Univ Leuven, KU Leuven, Lab Aquat Ecol Evolut & Conservat
  • ,
  • Ruben Sommaruga, Univ Innsbruck, University of Innsbruck, Lake & Glacier Res Grp, Inst Ecol

Retreating glaciers and ice sheets are among the clearest signs of global climate change. One consequence of glacier retreat is the formation of new meltwater-lakes in previously ice-covered terrain. These lakes provide unique opportunities to understand patterns in community organization during early lake ontogeny. Here, we analyzed the bacterial community structure and diversity in six lakes recently formed by the retreat of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). The lakes represented a turbidity gradient depending on their past and present connectivity to the GrIS meltwaters. Bulk (16S rRNA genes) and putatively active (16S rRNA) fractions of the bacterioplankton communities were structured by changes in environmental conditions associated to the turbidity gradient. Differences in community structure among lakes were attributed to both, rare and abundant community members. Further, positive co-occurrence relationships among phylogenetically closely related community members dominate in these lakes. Our results show that environmental conditions along the turbidity gradient structure bacterial community composition, which shifts during lake ontogeny. Rare taxa contribute to these shifts, suggesting that the rare biosphere has an important ecological role during early lakes ontogeny. Members of the rare biosphere may be adapted to the transient niches in these nutrient poor lakes. The directionality and phylogenetic structure of co-occurrence relationships indicate that competitive interactions among closely related taxa may be important in the most turbid lakes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalI S M E Journal
Volume12
Issue2
Pages (from-to)544-555
Number of pages12
ISSN1751-7362
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • DISSOLVED ORGANIC-MATTER, GLACIER-FED STREAMS, RARE BIOSPHERE, RIBOSOMAL-RNA, MELTWATER, ECOLOGY, MARINE, ENVIRONMENT, DIVERSITY, EXPORT

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