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Environ Microbiol. 2011 Apr;13(4):887-99. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2010.02387.x. Epub 2010 Dec 7.

Seasonal differences in bacterial community composition following nutrient additions in a eutrophic lake.

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Microbiology Doctoral Training Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


We examined the effects of nutrient amendments on epilimnetic freshwater bacteria during three distinct periods in the eutrophic Lake Mendota's seasonal cycle (spring overturn, summer stratification and autumn overturn). Microcosm treatments enriched solely with phosphorus containing compounds did not result in a large bacterial community composition (BCC) change or community activity response (assessed via alkaline phosphatase activity, APA) relative to the controls during any season. Treatments enriched with carbon- and nitrogen-containing compounds resulted in a dramatic BCC change and a large APA increase in the autumn and spring seasons, but only treatments receiving carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus (CNP) exhibited similar responses in the summer season. Despite the fact that the amendments created similar CNP concentration conditions across seasons, the BCC following amendment greatly varied among seasons. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis indicated that many common freshwater bacterial lineages from the Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria class and Bacteroidetes phylum were favoured following nutrient (CNP) addition, but individual taxa were generally not favoured across all seasons. Targeted quantitative PCR analysis revealed that the abundance of the Actinobacteria acIB1 cluster decreased in all microcosms during all three seasons, while the Flavobacterium aquatile (spring) and ME-B0 (summer) clusters of Bacteroidetes increased following CNP addition. These results suggest a particular bacterial group is not universally favoured by increased nutrient loads to a lake; therefore, efforts to predict which bacteria are involved in nutrient cycling during these periods must take into account the seasonality of freshwater bacterial communities.

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