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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2014 Aug;89(2):211-21. doi: 10.1111/1574-6941.12278. Epub 2014 Feb 3.

A comparison of pelagic, littoral, and riverine bacterial assemblages in Lake Bangongco, Tibetan Plateau.

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Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.


Lakes of the Tibetan Plateau lack direct anthropogenic influences, providing pristine high-altitude (> 4000 m) sites to study microbial community structure. We collected samples from the pelagic, littoral, and riverine zones of Lake Bangongco, located on the western side of the Plateau, to characterize bacterial community composition and geochemistry in three distinct, but hydrologically connected aquatic environments during summer. Bacterial community composition differed significantly among zones, with communities changing from riverine zones dominated by Bacteroidetes to littoral and pelagic zones dominated by Gammaproteobacteria. Community composition was strongly related to the geochemical environment, particularly concentrations of major ions and total nitrogen. The dominance of Gammaproteobacteria in the pelagic zone contrasts with typical freshwater bacterial communities as well as other lakes on the Tibetan Plateau.


Lake Bangongco; Tibetan Plateau; alpine; bacterial diversity

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