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Significant bacterial distance-decay relationship in continuous, well-connected Southern Ocean surface water

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 14:18 authored by Wang, Z-B, Sun, Y-Y, Chen, X-L, Wang, P, Ding, H-T, B Chen, Zhang, X-Y, Song, X-Y, Wang, M, Andrew McMinnAndrew McMinn, Zhang, Y-Z, Qin, Q-L
Recently, an increasing number of studies have focused on the biogeographic distribution of marine microorganisms. However, the extent to which geographic distance can affect marine microbial communities is still unclear, especially for the microbial communities in well-connected surface seawaters. In this study, the bacterial community compositions of 21 surface seawater samples, that were distributed over a distance of 7800 km, were surveyed to investigate how bacterial community similarity changes with increasing geographical distance. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant bacterial phyla, with Proteobacteria accounting for 52.6–92.5% and Bacteroidetes comprising 3.5–46.9% of the bacterial communities. A significant bacterial distance-decay relationship was observed in the well-connected Southern Ocean surface seawater. The number of pairwise shared operational taxonomic units (OTUs), and community similarities tended to decrease with increasing geographic distance. Calculation of the similarity indices with all, abundant or rare OTUs did not affect the observed distance-decay relationship. Spatial distance can largely explain the observed bacterial community variation. This study shows that even in well-connected surface waters, bacterial distance-decay patterns can be found as long as the geographical distance is great enough. The biogeographic patterns should then be present for marine microorganisms considering the large size and complexity of the marine ecosystem.


Publication title

Microbial Ecology








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies



Place of publication

175 Fifth Ave, New York, USA, Ny, 10010

Rights statement

Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Marine biodiversity

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