Feb 18, 2016

Bimodal occupancy-frequency distributions uncover the importance of regional dynamics in shaping marine microbial biogeography

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Markus V LindhJarone Pinhassi


Metapopulation theory developed in terrestrial ecology provides applicable frameworks for interpreting the role of local and regional processes in shaping species distribution patterns. Yet, empirical testing of metapopulation models on microbial communities is essentially lacking. Here we determined regional bacterioplankton dynamics from monthly transect sampling in the Baltic Sea Proper (16 sites, 11 occasions, 2010-2011) using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. A strong positive correlation was found between local relative abundance and occupancy of populations. Notably, the occupancy-frequency distributions (the number of populations occupying different number of sites) were significantly bimodal with a satellite mode of mostly rare endemic populations and a core mode of abundant cosmopolitan populations (e.g. Synechococcus, SAR11 and SAR86 clade members). Observed temporal changes in population distributions supported theoretical predictions that stochastic variation in local extinction and colonization rates accounted for observed bimodality. Moreover, bimodality was found for bacterioplankton across the entire Baltic Sea, and was also frequent in globally distributed datasets where average Bray-Curtis distances were signific...Continue Reading

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Analysis Using Pyrosequencing

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