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Environ Microbiol. 2012 May;14(5):1296-307. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2012.02713.x. Epub 2012 Mar 19.

Phosphorus and DOC availability influence the partitioning between bacterioplankton production and respiration in tidal marsh ecosystems.

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Dépt des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888, Succ. Centre Ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


The organic carbon consumed by aquatic bacteria (BCC) is partitioned between bacterial production (BP) and respiration (BR), but the factors that determine BCC and its partition into BP and BR are not well understood. We explored the coupling between BR, BR and BCC, and their links to dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nutrient availability in natural and restored tidal marshes and in the adjoining waters of Delaware Bay estuary. Labile DOC (LDOC) ranged from 3% to 22% of the DOC pool, and explained more of the variance in both BR and BCC than did bulk DOC. Bacterial growth efficiency (BGE) was highly variable (0.09-0.58), and natural Spartina alterniflora marshes had consistently higher BGE than both restoration marshes and tidal floodwaters. BGE was negatively related to the ratio of LDOC to total dissolved phosphorous, which was highest in natural marshes. The enhancement of BP observed in the marshes relative to the estuarine floodwaters had different origins: In natural marshes it was mostly due to increases in BGE, whereas in restored marshes it followed increased BCC. These results highlight the importance of P in regulating microbial metabolism in coastal areas, and the need to understand the pathways that lead to BP in these systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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