Microbial community diversity patterns are related to physical and chemical differences among temperate lakes near Beaver Island, MI

Miranda H. Hengy, Dean J. Horton, Donald G. Uzarski, Deric R. Learman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lakes are dynamic and complex ecosystems that can be influenced by physical, chemical, and biological processes. Additionally, individual lakes are often chemically and physically distinct, even within the same geographic region. Here we show that differences in physicochemical conditions among freshwater lakes located on (and around) the same island, as well as within the water column of each lake, are significantly related to aquatic microbial community diversity. Water samples were collected over time from the surface and bottom-water within four freshwater lakes located around Beaver Island, MI within the Laurentian Great Lakes region. Three of the sampled lakes experienced seasonal lake mixing events, impacting either O2, pH, temperature, or a combination of the three. Microbial community alpha and beta diversity were assessed and individual microbial taxa were identified via high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Results demonstrated that physical and chemical variability (temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH) were significantly related to divergence in the beta diversity of surface and bottom-water microbial communities. Despite its correlation to microbial community structure in unconstrained analyses, constrained analyses demonstrated that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration was not strongly related to microbial community structure among or within lakes. Additionally, several taxa were correlated (either positively or negatively) to environmental variables, which could be related to aerobic and anaerobic metabolisms. This study highlights the measurable relationships between environmental conditions and microbial communities within freshwater temperate lakes around the same island.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3937
JournalPeerJ
Volume2017
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • 16S rRNA
  • Freshwater lakes
  • Microbial communities
  • Stratification

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