Microbial assemblages associated with the invasive kelp Undaria pinnatifida in Patagonian coastal waters: Structure and alginolytic potential.
Lozada, M., Zabala, M. S., Garcia, P. E., Dieguez, M. C., Bigatti, G., Fermani, P., Unrein, F. and Dionisi, H. M.
Laboratorio de Microbiologia Ambiental (CESIMAR-CONICET/IBIOMAR-CONICET), Puerto Madryn, Argentina. Electronic address: lozada@cenpat-conicet.gob.ar.
Laboratorio de Reproduccion y Biologia Integrativa de Invertebrados Marinos (IBIOMAR-CONICET), Puerto Madryn, Argentina.
Grupo de Ecologia de Sistemas Acuaticos a Escala de Paisaje (GESAP, INIBIOMA-CONICET-UNComa), Bariloche, Argentina.
Laboratorio de Reproduccion y Biologia Integrativa de Invertebrados Marinos (IBIOMAR-CONICET), Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Universidad Espiritu Santo, Ecuador.
Laboratorio de Microbiologia Ambiental (CESIMAR-CONICET/IBIOMAR-CONICET), Puerto Madryn, Argentina.
Laboratorio de Ecologia y Fotobiologia Acuatica, Instituto Tecnologico de Chascomus (CONICET-UNSAM), Chascomus, Argentina; Escuela de Bio y Nanotecnologias (UNSAM), Argentina.
Undaria pinnatifida is a brown algae native to Asia that has settled in various regions worldwide, periodically contributing with large quantities of C and nutrients during its annual cycle. In this work, we analyzed a coastal site in Patagonia (Argentina) that has been colonized for three decades by U. pinnatifida, focusing on associated microbial communities in three different compartments. An important influence of algae was observed in seawater, especially in the bottom of the algal forest during the austral summer (January) at the moment of greater biomass release. This was evidenced by changes in DOC concentration and its quality indicators (higher Freshness and lower Humification index) and higher DIC. Although maximum values of NH4 and PO4 were observed in January, bottom water samples had lower concentrations than surface water, suggesting nutrient consumption by bacteria during algal DOM release. Concomitantly, bacterial abundance peaked, reaching 4.68 +/- 1.33 x 10(5) cells mL (-1) (January), showing also higher capability of degrading alginate, a major component of brown algae cell walls. Microbial community structure was influenced by sampling date, season, sampling zone (surface or bottom), and environmental factors (temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, nutrients). Samples of epiphytic biofilms showed a distinct community structure compared to seawater, lower diversity, and remarkably high alginolytic capability, suggesting adaptation to degrade algal biomass. A high microdiversity of populations of the genus Leucothrix (Gammaproteobacteria, Thiotrichales) that accounted for a large fraction of epiphytic communities was observed, and changed over time. Epiphytic assemblages shared more taxa with bottom than with surface seawater assemblages, indicating a certain level of exchange between communities in the forest surroundings. This work provides insight into the impact of U. pinnatifida decay on seawater quality, and the role of microbial communities on adapting to massive biomass inputs through rapid DOM turnover.
Science of the Total Environment 830: 154629 (2022)