Linking patterns of net community production and marine microbial community structure in the western North Atlantic.
Marine net community production (NCP) tracks uptake of carbon by plankton communities and its potential transport to depth. Relationships between marine microbial community composition and NCP currently remain unclear despite their importance for assessing how different taxa impact carbon export. We conducted 16 and 18S rRNA gene (rDNA) sequencing on samples collected across the Western North Atlantic in parallel with high-resolution O2/Ar-derived NCP measurements. Using an internal standard technique to estimate in-situ prokaryotic and eukaryotic rDNA abundances per liter, we employed statistical approaches to relate patterns of microbial diversity to NCP. Taxonomic abundances calculated using internal standards provided valuable context to traditional relative abundance metrics. A bloom in the Mid-Atlantic Bight featured high eukaryote abundances with low eukaryotic diversity and was associated with the harmful algal bloom-forming Aureococcus anophagefferens, phagotrophic algae, heterotrophic flagellates, and particle-associated bacteria. These results show that coastal Aureococcus blooms host a distinct community associated with regionally significant peaks in NCP. Meanwhile, weak relationships between taxonomy and NCP in less-productive waters suggest that productivity across much of this region is not linked to specific microplankton taxa.
Wang, S; Lin, Y; Gifford, S; Eveleth, R; Cassar, N
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