Significant bacterial distance-decay relationship in continuous, well-connected Southern Ocean surface water
Wang, Z-B and Sun, Y-Y and Chen, X-L and Wang, P and Ding, H-T and Chen, B and Zhang, X-Y and Song, X-Y and Wang, M and McMinn, A and Zhang, Y-Z and Qin, Q-L, Significant bacterial distance-decay relationship in continuous, well-connected Southern Ocean surface water, Microbial Ecology, 80 pp. 73-80. ISSN 0095-3628 (2019) [Refereed Article]
Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019
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.