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Effect of East Asian atmospheric particulate matter deposition on bacterial activity and community structure in the oligotrophic Northwest Pacific
Large amounts of anthropogenic East Asian (EA) particulate matters (PM), containing inorganic nutrients and organic matter, are deposited in the oligotrophic Northwest Pacific Ocean. However, the effects of such deposition on marine microbes remain unclear. In this study, the effect of EA PM deposition on marine bacteria was assessed by five on-board microcosm experiments, conducted in oligotrophic basins of the South China Sea. The addition of EA PM to the sampling water induced a clear shift in bacterial community composition from prevailing oligotrophs (i.e., SAR 11 clade, Prochlorococcus, AEGEAN-169 marine group) to less common copiotrophs (i.e., Alteromonas, Ruegeria, Flavobacteriaceae) and thus a slight increase in bacterial diversity. The shift to more active community composition, as well as stimulation of PM nutrients, resulted in a large increase in cell-specific and bulk bacterial production. In contrast, there were only minor changes in bacterial abundance, possibly due to increased top-down mortality. The EA PM also exhibited a stronge toxic effect on pico-cyanobacteria, leading to a significant decrease in their proportion. Moreover, the responses of bacterial metabolism and community composition exhibited significant relationships with the hydrographic condition of the locations. Stronger promotion effects of the EA PM on bacterial production and community shift from oligotrophs to copiotrophs was demonstrated at the more oligotrophic sites with lower chlorophyll a concentrations. These results suggest that PM deposition from polluted areas has the potential to alter the typical oligotrophic microbiomes and change the net metabolic balance of the bacterial community. These will then influence the dynamics of carbon flow in microbial food webs and biogeochemical cycles, especially with the trend of global warming and expansion of low-chlorophyll regions.
Publication titleEnvironmental Pollution
Department/SchoolInstitute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
PublisherElsevier Sci Ltd
Place of publicationThe Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox5 1Gb
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