Primary and heterotrophic productivity relate to multikingdom diversity in a hypersaline mat

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Abstract

Benthic microbial ecosystems are widespread yet knowledge gaps still remain on the relationships between the diversity of species across kingdoms and productivity. Here, we ask two fundamental questions: (i) How does species diversity relate to the rates of primary and heterotrophic productivity? (ii) How do diel variations in light-energy inputs influence productivity and microbiome diversity? To answer these questions, microbial mats from a magnesium sulfate hypersaline lake were used to establish microcosms. Both the number and relatedness between bacterial and eukaryotic taxa in the microbiome were assayed via amplicon-based sequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes over two diel cycles. These results correlated with biomass productivity obtained from substrate-specific 13C stable isotope tracers that enabled comparisons between primary and heterotrophic productivity. Both bacterial and eukaryotic species richness and evenness were related only to the rates of 13C-labeled glucose and acetate biomass incorporation. Interestingly, measures of these heterotrophic relationships changed from positive and negative correlations depending on carbon derived from glucose or acetate, respectively. The bacterial and eukaryotic diversity of this ecosystem is also controlled, in part, from energy constraints imposed by changing irradiance over a diel cycle.

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