Bacterial Biogeography across the Amazon River-Ocean Continuum.
ABSTRACT: Spatial and temporal patterns in microbial biodiversity across the Amazon river-ocean continuum were investigated along ?675 km of the lower Amazon River mainstem, in the Tapajós River tributary, and in the plume and coastal ocean during low and high river discharge using amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes in whole water and size-fractionated samples (0.2-2.0 ?m and >2.0 ?m). River communities varied among tributaries, but mainstem communities were spatially homogeneous and tracked seasonal changes in river discharge and co-varying factors. Co-occurrence network analysis identified strongly interconnected river assemblages during high (May) and low (December) discharge periods, and weakly interconnected transitional assemblages in September, suggesting that this system supports two seasonal microbial communities linked to river discharge. In contrast, plume communities showed little seasonal differences and instead varied spatially tracking salinity. However, salinity explained only a small fraction of community variability, and plume communities in blooms of diatom-diazotroph assemblages were strikingly different than those in other high salinity plume samples. This suggests that while salinity physically structures plumes through buoyancy and mixing, the composition of plume-specific communities is controlled by other factors including nutrients, phytoplankton community composition, and dissolved organic matter chemistry. Co-occurrence networks identified interconnected assemblages associated with the highly productive low salinity near-shore region, diatom-diazotroph blooms, and the plume edge region, and weakly interconnected assemblages in high salinity regions. This suggests that the plume supports a transitional community influenced by immigration of ocean bacteria from the plume edge, and by species sorting as these communities adapt to local environmental conditions. Few studies have explored patterns of microbial diversity in tropical rivers and coastal oceans. Comparison of Amazon continuum microbial communities to those from temperate and arctic systems suggest that river discharge and salinity are master variables structuring a range of environmental conditions that control bacterial communities across the river-ocean continuum.
Project description:The Amazon River watershed and its associated plume comprise a vast continental and oceanic area. The microbial activities along this continuum contribute substantially to global carbon and nutrient cycling, and yet there is a dearth of information on the diversity, abundance, and possible roles of viruses in this globally important river. The aim of this study was to elucidate the diversity and structure of virus assemblages of the Amazon River-ocean continuum. Environmental viral DNA sequences were obtained for 12 locations along the river's lower reach (n = 5) and plume (n = 7). Sequence assembly yielded 29,358 scaffolds, encoding 82,546 viral proteins, with 15 new complete viral genomes. Despite the spatial connectivity mediated by the river, virome analyses and physical-chemical water parameters clearly distinguished river and plume ecosystems. Bacteriophages were ubiquitous in the continuum and were more abundant in the transition region. Eukaryotic viruses occurred mostly in the river, while the plume had more viruses of autotrophic organisms (Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus) and heterotrophic bacteria (Pelagibacter). The viral families Microviridae and Myoviridae were the most abundant and occurred throughout the continuum. The major functions of the genes in the continuum involved viral structures and life cycles, and viruses from plume locations and Tapajós River showed the highest levels of functional diversity. The distribution patterns of the viral assemblages were defined not only by the occurrence of possible hosts but also by water physical and chemical parameters, especially salinity. The findings presented here help to improve understanding of the possible roles of viruses in the organic matter cycle along the river-ocean continuum. IMPORTANCE The Amazon River forms a vast plume in the Atlantic Ocean that can extend for more than 1,000 km. Microbial communities promote a globally relevant carbon sink system in the plume. Despite the importance of viruses for the global carbon cycle, the diversity and the possible roles of viruses in the Amazon are poorly understood. The present work assesses, for the first time, the abundance and diversity of viruses simultaneously in the river and ocean in order to elucidate their possible roles. DNA sequence assembly yielded 29,358 scaffolds, encoding 82,546 viral proteins, with 15 new complete viral genomes from the 12 river and ocean locations. Viral diversity was clearly distinguished by river and ocean. Bacteriophages were the most abundant and occurred throughout the continuum. Viruses that infect eukaryotes were more abundant in the river, whereas phages appeared to have strong control over the host prokaryotic populations in the plume.
Project description:The Amazon river basin receives ~2000 mm of precipitation annually and contributes ~17% of global river freshwater input to the oceans; its hydroclimatic variations can exert profound impacts on the marine ecosystem in the Amazon plume region (APR) and have potential far-reaching influences on hydroclimate over the tropical Atlantic. Here, we show that an amplified seasonal cycle of Amazonia precipitation, represented by the annual difference between maximum and minimum values, during the period 1979-2018, leads to enhanced seasonalities in both Amazon river discharge and APR ocean salinity. An atmospheric moisture budget analysis shows that these enhanced seasonal cycles are associated with similar amplifications in the atmospheric vertical and horizontal moisture advections. Hierarchical sensitivity experiments using global climate models quantify the relationships of these enhanced seasonalities. The results suggest that an intensified hydroclimatological cycle may develop in the Amazonia atmosphere-land-ocean coupled system, favouring more extreme terrestrial and marine conditions.
Project description:Arctic Ocean microbial eukaryote phytoplankton form subsurface chlorophyll maximum (SCM), where much of the annual summer production occurs. This SCM is particularly persistent in the Western Arctic Ocean, which is strongly salinity stratified. The recent loss of multiyear sea ice and increased particulate-rich river discharge in the Arctic Ocean results in a greater volume of fresher water that may displace nutrient-rich saltier waters to deeper depths and decrease light penetration in areas affected by river discharge. Here, we surveyed microbial eukaryotic assemblages in the surface waters, and within and below the SCM. In most samples, we detected the pronounced SCM that usually occurs at the interface of the upper mixed layer and Pacific Summer Water (PSW). Poorly developed SCM was seen under two conditions, one above PSW and associated with a downwelling eddy, and the second in a region influenced by the Mackenzie River plume. Four phylogenetically distinct communities were identified: surface, pronounced SCM, weak SCM and a deeper community just below the SCM. Distance-decay relationships and phylogenetic structure suggested distinct ecological processes operating within these communities. In the pronounced SCM, picophytoplanktons were prevalent and community assembly was attributed to water mass history. In contrast, environmental filtering impacted the composition of the weak SCM communities, where heterotrophic Picozoa were more numerous. These results imply that displacement of Pacific waters to greater depth and increased terrigenous input may act as a control on SCM development and result in lower net summer primary production with a more heterotroph dominated eukaryotic microbial community.
Project description:Large rivers create major gaps in reef distribution along tropical shelves. The Amazon River represents 20% of the global riverine discharge to the ocean, generating up to a 1.3 × 10(6)-km(2) plume, and extensive muddy bottoms in the equatorial margin of South America. As a result, a wide area of the tropical North Atlantic is heavily affected in terms of salinity, pH, light penetration, and sedimentation. Such unfavorable conditions were thought to imprint a major gap in Western Atlantic reefs. We present an extensive carbonate system off the Amazon mouth, underneath the river plume. Significant carbonate sedimentation occurred during lowstand sea level, and still occurs in the outer shelf, resulting in complex hard-bottom topography. A permanent near-bottom wedge of ocean water, together with the seasonal nature of the plume's eastward retroflection, conditions the existence of this extensive (~9500 km(2)) hard-bottom mosaic. The Amazon reefs transition from accretive to erosional structures and encompass extensive rhodolith beds. Carbonate structures function as a connectivity corridor for wide depth-ranging reef-associated species, being heavily colonized by large sponges and other structure-forming filter feeders that dwell under low light and high levels of particulates. The oxycline between the plume and subplume is associated with chemoautotrophic and anaerobic microbial metabolisms. The system described here provides several insights about the responses of tropical reefs to suboptimal and marginal reef-building conditions, which are accelerating worldwide due to global changes.
Project description:Microbial communities mediate the biogeochemical cycles that drive ecosystems, and it is important to understand how these communities are affected by changing environmental conditions, especially in complex coastal zones. As fresh and marine waters mix in estuaries and river plumes, the salinity, temperature, and nutrient gradients that are generated strongly influence bacterioplankton community structure, yet, a parallel change in functional diversity has not been described. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses were conducted on five water samples spanning the salinity gradient of the Columbia River coastal margin, including river, estuary, plume, and ocean, in August 2010. Samples were pre-filtered through 3 ?m filters and collected on 0.2 ?m filters, thus results were focused on changes among free-living microbial communities. Results from metagenomic 16S rRNA sequences showed taxonomically distinct bacterial communities in river, estuary, and coastal ocean. Despite the strong salinity gradient observed over sampling locations (0 to 33), the functional gene profiles in the metagenomes were very similar from river to ocean with an average similarity of 82%. The metatranscriptomes, however, had an average similarity of 31%. Although differences were few among the metagenomes, we observed a change from river to ocean in the abundance of genes encoding for catabolic pathways, osmoregulators, and metal transporters. Additionally, genes specifying both bacterial oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis were abundant and expressed in the estuary and plume. Denitrification genes were found throughout the Columbia River coastal margin, and most highly expressed in the estuary. Across a river to ocean gradient, the free-living microbial community followed three different patterns of diversity: 1) the taxonomy of the community changed strongly with salinity, 2) metabolic potential was highly similar across samples, with few differences in functional gene abundance from river to ocean, and 3) gene expression was highly variable and generally was independent of changes in salinity.
Project description:The Amazon generates the world's largest offshore river plume, which covers extensive areas of the tropical Atlantic. The data and samples in this study were obtained during the oceanographic cruise Camadas Finas III in October 2012 along the Amazon River-Ocean Continuum (AROC). The cruise occurred during boreal autumn, when the river plume reaches its maximum eastward extent. In this study, we examine the links between physics, biogeochemistry and plankton community structure along the AROC. Hydrographic results showed very different conditions, ranging from shallow well-mixed coastal waters to offshore areas, where low salinity Amazonian waters mix with open ocean waters. Nutrients, mainly [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text], were highly depleted in coastal regions, and the magnitude of primary production was greater than that of respiration (negative apparent oxygen utilization). In terms of phytoplankton groups, diatoms dominated the region from the river mouth to the edge of the area affected by the North Brazil Current (NBC) retroflection (with chlorophyll a concentrations ranging from 0.02 to 0.94 mg m-3). The North Equatorial Counter Current (NECC) region, east of retroflection, is fully oligotrophic and the most representative groups are Cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates. Additionally, in this region, blooms of cyanophyte species were associated with diatoms and Mesozooplankton (copepods). A total of 178 zooplankton taxa were observed in this area, with Copepoda being the most diverse and abundant group. Two different zooplankton communities were identified: a low-diversity, high-abundance coastal community and a high-diversity, low-abundance oceanic community offshore. The CO2 fugacity (fCO2sw), calculated from total alkalinity (1,450 < TA < 2,394 ?mol kg-1) and dissolved inorganic carbon (1,303 < DIC < 2,062 ?mol kg-1) measurements, confirms that the Amazon River plume is a sink of atmospheric CO2 in areas with salinities <35 psu, whereas, in regions with salinities >35 and higher-intensity winds, the CO2 flux is reversed. Lower fCO2sw values were observed in the NECC area. The ?fCO2 in this region was less than 5 ?atm (-0.3 mmol m-2 d-1), while the ?fCO2 in the coastal region was approximately 50 ?atm (+3.7 mmol m-2 d-1). During the cruise, heterotrophic and autotrophic processes were observed and are indicative of the influences of terrestrial material and biological activity, respectively.
Project description:Few studies of microbial biogeography address variability across both multiple habitats and multiple seasons. Here we examine the spatial and temporal variability of bacterioplankton community composition of the Columbia River coastal margin using 16S amplicon pyrosequencing of 300 water samples collected in 2007 and 2008. Communities separated into seven groups (ANOSIM, P<0.001): river, estuary, plume, epipelagic, mesopelagic, shelf bottom (depth<350 m) and slope bottom (depth>850 m). The ordination of these samples was correlated with salinity (?=-0.83) and depth (?=-0.62). Temporal patterns were obscured by spatial variability among the coastal environments, and could only be detected within individual groups. Thus, structuring environmental factors (for example, salinity, depth) dominate over seasonal changes in determining community composition. Seasonal variability was detected across an annual cycle in the river, estuary and plume where communities separated into two groups, early year (April-July) and late year (August-Nov), demonstrating annual reassembly of communities over time. Determining both the spatial and temporal variability of bacterioplankton communities provides a framework for modeling these communities across environmental gradients from river to deep ocean.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The Amazon River is by far the world's largest in terms of volume and area, generating a fluvial export that accounts for about a fifth of riverine input into the world's oceans. Marine microbial communities of the Western Tropical North Atlantic Ocean are strongly affected by the terrestrial materials carried by the Amazon plume, including dissolved (DOC) and particulate organic carbon (POC) and inorganic nutrients, with impacts on primary productivity and carbon sequestration. RESULTS: We inventoried genes and transcripts at six stations in the Amazon River plume during June 2010. At each station, internal standard-spiked metagenomes, non-selective metatranscriptomes, and poly(A)-selective metatranscriptomes were obtained in duplicate for two discrete size fractions (0.2 to 2.0 ?m and 2.0 to 156 ?m) using 150 × 150 paired-end Illumina sequencing. Following quality control, the dataset contained 360 million reads of approximately 200 bp average size from Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya, and viruses. Bacterial metagenomes and metatranscriptomes were dominated by Synechococcus, Prochlorococcus, SAR11, SAR116, and SAR86, with high contributions from SAR324 and Verrucomicrobia at some stations. Diatoms, green picophytoplankton, dinoflagellates, haptophytes, and copepods dominated the eukaryotic genes and transcripts. Gene expression ratios differed by station, size fraction, and microbial group, with transcription levels varying over three orders of magnitude across taxa and environments. CONCLUSIONS: This first comprehensive inventory of microbial genes and transcripts, benchmarked with internal standards for full quantitation, is generating novel insights into biogeochemical processes of the Amazon plume and improving prediction of climate change impacts on the marine biosphere.
Project description:Analysis of microbial gene expression in response to physical and chemical gradients forming in the Columbia River, estuary, plume and coastal ocean was done in the context of the environmental data base. Gene expression was analyzed for 2,234 individual genes that were selected from fully sequenced genomes of 246 prokaryotic species (bacteria and archaea) as related to the nitrogen metabolism and carbon fixation. Seasonal molecular portraits of differential gene expression in prokaryotic communities during river-to-ocean transition were created using freshwater baseline samples (268, 270, 347, 002, 006, 207, 212). Overall design: Total RNA was isolated from 64 filtered environmental water samples collected in the Columbia River coastal margin during 4 research cruises (14 from August, 2007; 17 from November, 2007; 18 from April, 2008; and 16 from June, 2008), and analyzed using microarray hybridization with the CombiMatrix 4X2K format. Microarray targets were prepared by reverse transcription of total RNA into fluorescently labeled cDNA. All samples were hybridized in duplicate, except samples 212 and 310 (hybridized in triplicate) and samples 336, 339, 50, 152, 157, and 199 (hybridized once). Sample location codes: number shows distance from the coast in km; CR, Columbia River transect in the plume and coastal ocean; NH, Newport Hydroline transect in the coastal ocean at Newport, Oregon; AST and HAM, Columbia River estuary locations near Astoria (river mile 7-9) and Hammond (river mile 5), respectively; TID, Columbia River estuary locations in the tidal basin (river mile 22-23); BA, river location at Beaver Army Dock (river mile 53) near Quincy, Oregon; UP, river location at mile 74.
Project description:From mid-May to August 2011, extreme runoff in the Columbia River ranged from 14,000 to over 17,000 m(3)/s, more than two standard deviations above the mean for this period. The extreme runoff was the direct result of both melting of anomalously high snowpack and rainfall associated with the 2010-2011 La Niña. The effects of this increased freshwater discharge were observed off Newport, Oregon, 180 km south of the Columbia River mouth. Salinity values as low as 22, nine standard deviations below the climatological value for this period, were registered at the mid-shelf. Using a network of ocean observing sensors and platforms, it was possible to capture the onshore advection of the Columbia River plume from the mid-shelf, 20 km offshore, to the coast and eventually into Yaquina Bay (Newport) during a sustained wind reversal event. Increased freshwater delivery can influence coastal ocean ecosystems and delivery of offshore, river-influenced water may influence estuarine biogeochemistry.