Coupling bacterioplankton populations and environment to community function in coastal temperate waters

S. J. Traving, Mikkel Bentzon-Tilia, H. Knudsen-Leerbeck, M. Mantikci, J. L. S. Hansen, Colin Stedmon, S. Markager, L. Riemann

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Bacterioplankton play a key role in marine waters facilitating processes important for carbon cycling. However, the influence of specific bacterial populations and environmental conditions on bacterioplankton community performance remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to identify drivers of bacterioplankton community functions, taking into account the variability in community composition and environmental conditions over seasons, in two contrasting coastal systems. A Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) analysis of the biological and chemical data obtained from surface waters over a full year indicated that specific bacterial populations were linked to measured functions. Namely, Synechococcus (Cyanobacteria) was strongly correlated with protease activity. Both function and community composition showed seasonal variation. However, the pattern of substrate utilization capacity could not be directly linked to the community dynamics. The overall importance of dissolved organic matter (DOM) parameters in the LASSO models indicate that bacterioplankton respond to the present substrate landscape, with a particular importance of nitrogenous DOM. The identification of common drivers of bacterioplankton community functions in two different systems indicates that the drivers may be of broader relevance in coastal temperate waters.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1533
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


  • Coastal ecosystems
  • Community functions
  • Bacterioplankton communities
  • Extracellular enzymes
  • Bacterial growth
  • 16S rRNA gene
  • Seasonality
  • LASSO analysis


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