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Bacterial Community Assembly in a Typical Estuarine Marsh with Multiple Environmental Gradients.


ABSTRACT: Bacterial communities play essential roles in estuarine marsh ecosystems, but the interplay of ecological processes underlying their community assembly is poorly understood. Here, we studied the sediment bacterial communities along a linear gradient extending from the water-land junction toward a high marsh, using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Bacterial community compositions differed significantly between sediment transects. Physicochemical properties, particularly sediment nutrient levels (i.e., total nitrogen [TN] and available phosphorus [AP]), as well as sediment physical structure and pH (P < 0.05), were strongly associated with the overall community variations. In addition, the topological properties of bacterial cooccurrence networks varied with distance to the water-land junction. Both node- and network-level topological features revealed that the bacterial network of sediments farthest from the junction was less intense in complexity and interactions than other sediments. Phylogenetic null modeling analysis showed a progressive transition from stochastic to deterministic community assembly for the water-land junction sites toward the emerging terrestrial system. Taken together, data from this study provide a detailed outline of the distribution pattern of the sediment bacterial community across an estuarine marsh and inform the mechanisms and processes mediating bacterial community assembly in marsh soils.IMPORTANCE Salt marshes represent highly dynamic ecosystems where the atmosphere, continents, and the ocean interact. The bacterial distribution in this ecosystem is of great ecological concern, as it provides essential functions acting on ecosystem services. However, ecological processes mediating bacterial assembly are poorly understood for salt marshes, especially the ones located in estuaries. In this study, the distribution and assembly of bacterial communities in an estuarine marsh located in south Hangzhou Bay were investigated. The results revealed an intricate interplay between stochastic and deterministic processes mediating the assembly of bacterial communities in the studied gradient system. Collectively, our findings illustrate the main drivers of community assembly, taking into consideration changes in sediment abiotic variables and potential biotic interactions. Thus, we offer new insights into estuarine bacterial communities and illustrate the interplay of ecological processes shaping the assembly of bacterial communities in estuarine marsh ecosystems.

SUBMITTER: Yao Z 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6414364 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): SRP156339

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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