Marine bacterioplankton community structure in the vicinity of Antarctic icebergs
CitationSCAR - Microbial Antarctic Resource System. Marine bacterioplankton community structure in the vicinity of Antarctic icebergs. Metadata Dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/fwpqqc accessed via GBIF.org on 2017-08-22.
DescriptionWe studied marine bacterioplankton in the Scotia Sea in June 2008 and in the northwest Weddell Sea in March to mid April 2009 in waters proximal to three free-drifting icebergs (SS-1, A-43k, and C-18a), in a region with a high density of smaller icebergs (iceberg alley), and at stations that were upstream of the iceberg trajectories designated as far-field reference sites that were between 16-75 km away. Hydrographic parameters were used to define water masses in which comparisons between bacterioplankton-associated characteristics within and between water masses could be made. Influences of the icebergs on early winter Scotia Sea bacterioplankton were minimal, if not deleterious, as we found lower levels of heterotrophic production near A-43k in comparison to stations > 16 km away. Small but significant differences in bacterioplankton community structure were observed between two icebergs studied in early winter Scotia Sea. These icebergs differed greatly in size and the findings suggest that the larger iceberg had a greater effect. In the NW Weddell Sea in March–mid April there were some significant differences in community structure in the winter water and underlying upper circumpolar deep water masses between stations occupied close to C-18a and at stations 18 km away (i.e. Polaribacter and Pelagibacter-related 16S rRNA gene fragments were at low levels at the 18 km stations), though higher resolution, high throughput profiling tools will be needed to pinpoint specific organisms and ecological types. Likewise, a better understanding of local to regional scale structure of bacterioplankton communities is necessary. Overall, the results show that bacterioplankton, dominated by Rhodobacteracae Pelagibacter, and uncultivated Gammaproteobacteria groups were minimally influenced by icebergs in the regions and seasons studied here – at least directly – though further work addressing different scales, sizes of icebergs, and seasons is needed to better understand bacterioplankton-associated ecological processes and carbon cycling in regions of high iceberg production.
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