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Front Microbiol. 2012 Aug 31;3:318. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00318. eCollection 2012.

Spatial and temporal scales of aquatic bacterial beta diversity.

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1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN, USA.

Abstract

Understanding characteristic variation in aquatic bacterial community composition (BCC) across space and time can inform us about processes driving community assembly and the ability of bacterial communities to respond to perturbations. In this study, we synthesize BCC data from north temperate lakes to evaluate our current understanding of how BCC varies across multiple scales in time and space. A hierarchy of average similarity emerged with the highest similarity found among samples collected within the same lake, especially within the same basin, followed by similarity among samples collected through time within the same lake, and finally similarity among samples collected from different lakes. Using decay of similarity across time and space, we identified equivalent temporal (1 day) and spatial (10 m) scales of BCC variation. Finally, we identify an intriguing pattern of contrasting patterns of intra- and inter-annual BCC variation in two lakes. We argue our synthesis of spatio-temporal variation of aquatic BCC informs expectations for the response of aquatic bacterial communities to perturbation and environmental change. However, further long-term temporal observations will be needed to develop a general understanding of inter-annual BCC variation and our ability to use aquatic BCC as a sensitive metric of environmental change.

KEYWORDS:

beta diversity; lake; spatial; temporal

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