Apr 10, 2008

Spatial and temporal variability in epilithic biofilm bacterial communities along an upland river gradient

FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Mary J Anderson-GlennaNicholas J W Clipson


Riverine biofilms remain one of the least-studied habitats despite the significant increase in the examination of aquatic microbial communities in recent years. In this study, the dynamics of epilithic biofilm communities native on rocks from a low-order upland stream were examined over a period of 3 years. Spatial and temporal variations in bacterial communities were assessed using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism, based on analysis of the 16S rRNA gene. In total, 108 epilithic biofilm samples were analysed and 170 different ribotypes were detected. A strong temporal gradient in ribotype composition was noticed, especially between samples collected in 2001 and those collected in 2002 and 2003, most likely reflecting interannual differences in weather conditions, such as temperature. A spatial gradient in ribotype composition, from upstream sites to the low-lying sites, was also evident and interpreted as an environmental variation gradient along the river course. Distinct biofilm communities consistently occurred at the first site along the river, which was significantly correlated to low pH. Temporal factors explained the highest degree of variation within the epilithic biofilms. Recurrent blooms of certain b...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

DNA, Ribosomal
Longitudinal Survey
Human Geography
Sequence Determinations, DNA

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