A fundamental difference between macrobiota and microbial eukaryotes: Protistan plankton has a species maximum in the freshwater‐marine transition zone of the Baltic Sea.

Filker, Sabine, Kühner, Steffen, Heckwolf, Melanie, Dierking, Jan and Stoeck, Thorsten (2018) A fundamental difference between macrobiota and microbial eukaryotes: Protistan plankton has a species maximum in the freshwater‐marine transition zone of the Baltic Sea. Environmental Microbiology . DOI 10.1111/1462-2920.14502.

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Abstract

Remane's Artenminimum at the horohalinicum is a fundamental concept in ecology to describe and explain the distribution of organisms along salinity gradients. However, a recent metadata analysis challenged this concept for protists, proposing a species maximum in brackish waters. Due to data bias, this literature‐based investigation was highly discussed. Reliable data verifying or rejecting the species minimum for protists in brackish waters were critically lacking. Here, we sampled a pronounced salinity gradient along a west‐east transect in the Baltic Sea and analyzed protistan plankton communities using high‐throughput eDNA metabarcoding. A strong salinity barrier at the upper limit of the horohalinicum and 10 psu appeared to select for significant shifts in protistan community structures, with dinoflagellates being dominant at lower salinities, and dictyochophytes and diatoms, being keyplayers at higher salinities. Also in vertical water column gradients in deeper basins (Kiel Bight, Arkona and Bornholm Basin) appeared salinity as significant environmental determinant influencing alpha‐ and beta‐diversity patterns. Importantly, alpha‐diversity indices revealed species maxima in brackish waters, i.e., indeed contrasting Remane's Artenminimum concept. Statistical analyses confirmed salinity as the major driving force for protistan community structuring with high significance. This suggests that macrobiota and microbial eukaryotes follow fundamentally different rules regarding diversity patterns in the transition zone from freshwater to marine waters.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Thi s article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.14502
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1111/1462-2920.14502
ISSN: 1462-2912
Projects: BONUS BIO-C3
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2019 07:04
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2019 07:04
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/45089

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