Project description:The data article refers to the paper "Distribution and grazing of the dominant mesozooplankton species in the Yenisei estuary and adjacent shelf in early summer (July 2016)" (Drits et al., 2020). The data were collected along quasi-longitudinal transect "Yenisei estuary - Kara Sea shelf" on 24-28 July 2016. Here we present data on the spatial and vertical distribution, demographic structure and gut pigment content of the dominant zooplankton species as well as the grazing impact on autotrophic phytoplankton in the three distinguished zones: freshwater zone, frontal zone of the Yenisei plume and marine shelf zone. The related article (Drits et al., 2020) considers the structure and functioning of zooplankton community in relation to environmental characteristics such as temperature, salinity, phytoplankton abundance, timing of ice retreat. Information presented in this article can be used by marine biologists for studies of structure and functioning of estuarine pelagic communities, ecology of zooplankton in the Siberian seas. Besides the data could provide a baseline for the assessment of the ecological role played by climate change events (e.g., increased precipitation, permafrost thawing, elevated river discharge) on the Arctic ecosystems.
Project description:Alterations of species phenology in response to climate change are now unquestionable. Until now, most studies have reported precocious occurrence of life cycle events as a major phenological response. Desynchronizations of biotic interactions, in particular predator-prey relationships, are however assumed to strongly impact ecosystems' functioning, as formalized by the Match-Mismatch Hypothesis (MMH). Temporal synchronicity between juvenile fish and zooplankton in estuaries is therefore of essential interest since estuaries are major nursery grounds for many commercial fish species. The Gironde estuary (SW France) has suffered significant alterations over the last three decades, including two Abrupt Ecosystem Shifts (AES), and three contrasted intershift periods. The main objective of this study was to depict modifications in fish and zooplankton phenology among inter-shift periods and discuss the potential effects of the resulting mismatches at a community scale. A flexible Bayesian method was used to estimate and compare yearly patterns of species abundance in the estuary among the three pre-defined periods. Results highlighted (1) an earlier peak of zooplankton production and entrance of fish species in the estuary and (2) a decrease in residence time of both groups in the estuary. Such species-specific phenological changes led to changes in temporal overlap between juvenile fish and their zooplanktonic prey. This situation questions the efficiency and potentially the viability of nursery function of the Gironde estuary, with potential implications for coastal marine fisheries of the Bay of Biscay.
Project description:BACKGROUND:As salinity is considered the prime "ecological master factor" governing the zooplankton distribution and abundance in estuaries, a spatio-temporal interactive approach was followed to assess whether the responses of the estuarine copepod community towards the salinity are always direct with a strong positive affinity or whether there exist any complexities in their interrelationship. The study, also for the first time, addressed the role of sex ratio in governing the abundance and the population structure of copepods in the tropical monsoonal estuarine system. RESULTS:The ecological scenario in the Cochin estuary revealed that irrespective of the season, higher zooplankton abundance occurred in the mesohaline zone (MSZ; salinity 5-18) of the estuary, despite the pronounced spatial shift of the MSZ from the lower reaches of the estuary to upstream locations, in conjunction with the varying seasonal fluvial influx and marine water intrusion. In the case of the sex ratio of copepods, the seasonal scenario revealed that the dominant copepods had a lower sex ratio during the period of higher abundance, and a negative relation was observed between the abundance and the sex ratio of copepod species during most of the seasons. CONCLUSIONS:The preponderance of the mesohaline and euryhaline species of the copepod community formed the key contributing factor towards the maintenance of higher abundance in the MSZ of the estuary. The bias in the sex ratio towards females favored higher reproductive output, resulting in the higher abundance during the favorable pre-monsoon period.
Project description:Particulate material comprising the detrital remains of terrestrial plants and macrophytes is a substantial source of organic matter to estuaries and therefore has the potential to support the energy demands of the pelagic aquatic food web. Despite the prevalence of macrophytic or terrestrial particulate organic carbon (tPOC), phytoplankton are nutritionally superior and are thought to be the primary food resource for zooplankton. However, estuarine phytoplankton primary productivity abundances can wax and wane, and often production cannot meet heterotrophic energy needs. In this study, we examined how tPOC (detritus of macrophytes and grasses) may affect survival of a calanoid copepod (Eurytemora affinis) common in the San Francisco Estuary (SFE), an estuary with relatively low phytoplankton primary productivity. Using chemical biomarkers and a targeted DNA metagenomic methodology, we show that E. affinis consumed tPOC (dominated by Schoenoplectus sp., or tule) even when phytoplankton were abundant and tPOC was scarce. Furthermore, we found that a mixed diet of phytoplankton and terrestrial material (1:3 carbon ratio) enhanced the survival of E. affinis over a diet of phytoplankton alone. These data show that tPOC can be a vital supplementary food source for zooplankton, perhaps extending survival during low phytoplankton periods, and may help explain elevated zooplankton abundances in tidal wetlands and other detrital-dominated regions.
Project description:Dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) and denitrification are two nitrate respiration pathways in the microbial nitrogen cycle. Diversity and abundance of denitrifying bacteria have been extensively examined in various ecosystems. However, studies on DNRA bacterial diversity are limited, and the linkage between the structure and activity of DNRA communities has yet to be discovered. We examined the composition, diversity, abundance, and activities of DNRA communities at five sites along a salinity gradient in the New River Estuary, North Carolina, USA, a shallow temporal/lagoonal estuarine system. Sediment slurry incubation experiments with (15)N-nitrate were conducted to measure potential DNRA rates, while the abundance of DNRA communities was calculated using quantitative PCR of nrfA genes encoding cytochrome C nitrite reductase, commonly found in DNRA bacteria. A pyrosequencing method targeting nrfA genes was developed using an Ion Torrent sequencer to examine the diversity and composition of DNRA communities within the estuarine sediment community. We found higher levels of nrfA gene abundance and DNRA activities in sediments with higher percent organic content. Pyrosequencing analysis of nrfA genes revealed spatial variation of DNRA communities along the salinity gradient of the New River Estuary. Percent abundance of dominant populations was found to have significant influence on overall activities of DNRA communities. Abundance of dominant DNRA bacteria and organic carbon availability are important regulators of DNRA activities in the eutrophic New River Estuary.
Project description:Gelatinous zooplankton, such as ctenophores and jellyfish, are important components of marine and brackish ecosystems and play critical roles in aquatic biogeochemistry. As voracious predators of plankton, ctenophores have key positions in aquatic food webs and are often successful invaders when introduced to new areas. Gelatinous zooplankton have strong impacts on ecosystem services, particularly in coastal environments. However, little is known about the factors responsible for regulating population dynamics of gelatinous organisms, including biological interactions that may contribute to bloom demise. Ctenophores are known to contain specific bacterial communities and a variety of invertebrate parasites and symbionts; however, no previous studies have examined the presence of viruses in these organisms. Building upon recent studies demonstrating a diversity of single-stranded DNA viruses that encode a replication initiator protein (Rep) in aquatic invertebrates, this study explored the presence of circular, Rep-encoding single-stranded DNA (CRESS-DNA) viruses in the ctenophores Mnemiopsis leidyi and Beroe ovata collected from the Skidaway River Estuary and Savannah River in Georgia, USA. Using rolling circle amplification followed by restriction enzyme digestion, this study provides the first evidence of viruses in ctenophores. Investigation of four CRESS-DNA viruses over an 8-month period using PCR demonstrated temporal trends in viral prevalence and indicated that some of the viruses may persist in ctenophore populations throughout the year. Although future work needs to examine the ecological roles of these ctenophore-associated viruses, this study indicates that viral infection may play a role in population dynamics of gelatinous zooplankton.
Project description:Community composition of the infaunal bivalve fauna of the St. Lucie Estuary and southern Indian River Lagoon, eastern Florida was sampled quarterly for 10 years as part of a long-term benthic monitoring program. A total of 38,514 bivalves of 137 taxa were collected and identified. We utilized this data, along with sediment samples and environmental measurements gathered concurrently, to assess the community composition, distribution, and ecological drivers of the infaunal bivalves of this estuary system. Salinity had the strongest influence on bivalve assemblage across the 15 sites, superseding the influences of sediment type, water turbidity, temperature and other environmental parameters. The greatest diversity was found in higher salinity euhaline sites, while the greatest abundance of individual bivalves was found in medium salinity mixohaline sites, the lowest diversity and abundances were found in the low salinity oligohaline sites, demonstrating a strong positive association between salinity and diversity/abundance. Water management decisions for the estuary should incorporate understanding of the role of salinity on bivalve diversity, abundance, and ecosystem function.
Project description:Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America, can be characterized as having steep and opposing gradients in salinity and dissolved inorganic nitrogen along the main axis of the Bay. In this study, the diversity of nirS gene fragments (encoding cytochrome cd 1-type nitrite reductase), physical/chemical parameters, and benthic N2-fluxes were analyzed in order to determine how denitrifier communities and biogeochemical activity vary along the estuary salinity gradient. The nirS gene fragments were PCR-amplified, cloned, and sequenced from sediment cores collected at five stations. Sequence analysis of 96-123 nirS clones from each station revealed extensive overall diversity in this estuary, as well as distinct spatial structure in the nirS sequence distributions. Both nirS-based richness and community composition varied among stations, with the most dramatic shifts occurring between low-salinity (oligohaline) and moderate-salinity (mesohaline) sites. For four samples collected in April, the nirS-based richness, nitrate concentrations, and N2-fluxes all decreased in parallel along the salinity gradient from the oligohaline northernmost station to the highest salinity (polyhaline) station near the mouth of the Bay. The vast majority of the 550 nirS sequences were distinct from cultivated denitrifiers, although many were closely related to environmental clones from other coastal and estuarine systems. Interestingly, 8 of the 172 OTUs identified accounted for 42% of the total nirS clones, implying the presence of a few dominant and many rare genotypes, which were distributed in a non-random manner along the salinity gradient of Chesapeake Bay. These data, comprising the largest dataset to investigate nirS clone sequence diversity from an estuarine environment, also provided information that was required for the development of nirS microarrays to investigate the interaction of microbial diversity, environmental gradients, and biogeochemical activity.
Project description:Nitrification, mediated by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), is important in global nitrogen cycling. In estuaries where gradients of salinity and ammonia concentrations occur, there may be differential selections for ammonia-oxidizer populations. The aim of this study was to examine the activity, abundance, and diversity of AOA and AOB in surface oxic sediments of a highly nutrified estuary that exhibits gradients of salinity and ammonium. AOB and AOA communities were investigated by measuring ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) gene abundance and nitrification potentials both spatially and temporally. Nitrification potentials differed along the estuary and over time, with the greatest nitrification potentials occurring mid-estuary (8.2 ?mol N grams dry weight [gdw](-1) day(-1) in June, increasing to 37.4 ?mol N gdw(-1) day(-1) in January). At the estuary head, the nitrification potential was 4.3 ?mol N gdw(-1) day(-1) in June, increasing to 11.7 ?mol N gdw(-1) day(-1) in January. At the estuary head and mouth, nitrification potentials fluctuated throughout the year. AOB amoA gene abundances were significantly greater (by 100-fold) than those of AOA both spatially and temporally. Nitrosomonas spp. were detected along the estuary by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) band sequence analysis. In conclusion, AOB dominated over AOA in the estuarine sediments, with the ratio of AOB/AOA amoA gene abundance increasing from the upper (freshwater) to lower (marine) regions of the Colne estuary. These findings suggest that in this nutrified estuary, AOB (possibly Nitrosomonas spp.) were of major significance in nitrification.
Project description:<i>Microcystis</i> blooms have occurred in upper San Francisco Estuary (USFE) since 1999, but their potential impacts on plankton communities have not been fully quantified. Five years of field data collected from stations across the freshwater reaches of the estuary were used to identify the plankton communities that covaried with <i>Microcystis</i> blooms, including non-photosynthetic bacteria, cyanobacteria, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and benthic genera using a suite of analyses, including microscopy, quantitative PCR (qPCR), and shotgun metagenomic analysis. Coherence between the abundance of <i>Microcystis</i> and members of the plankton community was determined by hierarchal cluster analysis (CLUSTER) and type 3 similarity profile analysis (SIMPROF), as well as correlation analysis. <i>Microcystis</i> abundance varied with many cyanobacteria and phytoplankton genera and was most closely correlated with the non-toxic cyanobacterium <i>Merismopoedia</i>, the green algae <i>Monoraphidium</i> and <i>Chlamydomonas</i>, and the potentially toxic cyanobacteria <i>Pseudoanabaena</i>, <i>Dolichospermum</i>, <i>Planktothrix</i>, <i>Sphaerospermopsis</i>, and <i>Aphanizomenon</i>. Among non-photosynthetic bacteria, the xenobiotic bacterium <i>Phenylobacterium</i> was the most closely correlated with <i>Microcystis</i> abundance. The coherence of DNA sequences for phyla across trophic levels in the plankton community also demonstrated the decrease in large zooplankton and increase in small zooplankton during blooms. The breadth of correlations between <i>Microcystis</i> and plankton across trophic levels suggests <i>Microcystis</i> influences ecosystem production through bottom-up control during blooms. Importantly, the abundance of <i>Microcystis</i> and other members of the plankton community varied with wet and dry conditions, indicating climate was a significant driver of trophic structure during blooms.