Peura S, Eiler A, Bertilsson S, Nykänen H, Tiirola M, Jones RI
ISME J 6 (9) 1640-1652 [2012-09-00; online 2012-03-15]
Lakes have a central role in the carbon cycle of the boreal landscape. These systems typically stratify in summer and their hypolimnetic microbial communities influence burial of biogenic organic matter in sediments. The composition of bacterial communities in these suboxic habitats was studied by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA amplicons from five lakes with variable dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. Bacterioplankton communities in the hypolimnetic waters were clearly different from the surface layer with candidate division OD1, Chlorobi and Bacteroidetes as dominant community members. Several operational taxonomic units (OTUs) affiliated with candidate division OD1 were abundant and consistently present in the suboxic hypolimnion in these boreal lakes. The overall representation of this group was positively correlated with DOC and methane concentrations. Network analysis of time-series data revealed contrasting temporal patterns but suggested similar ecological roles among the abundant OTUs affiliated with candidate division OD1. Together, stable isotope data and taxonomic classification point to methane oxidation and autotrophic denitrification as important processes in the suboxic zone of boreal lakes. Our data revealed that while hypolimnetic bacterial communities are less dynamic, they appear to be more diverse than communities from the oxic surface layer. An appreciable proportion of the hypolimnetic bacteria belong to poorly described phyla.