Differences in planktonic microbial communities associated with three types of macrophyte stands in a shallow lake

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Abstract

Little is known about how various substances from living and decomposing aquatic macrophytes affect the horizontal patterns of planktonic bacterial communities. Study sites were located within Lake Kolon, which is a freshwater marsh and can be characterised by open-water sites and small ponds with different macrovegetation (Phragmites australis, Nymphea alba and Utricularia vulgaris). Our aim was to reveal the impact of these macrophytes on the composition of the planktonic microbial communities using comparative analysis of environmental parameters, microscopy and pyrosequencing data. Bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences were dominated by members of phyla Proteobacteria (36%-72%), Bacteroidetes (12%-33%) and Actinobacteria (5%-26%), but in the anoxic sample the ratio of Chlorobi (54%) was also remarkable. In the phytoplankton community, Cryptomonas sp., Dinobryon divergens, Euglena acus and chrysoflagellates had the highest proportion. Despite the similarities in most of the measured environmental parameters, the inner ponds had different bacterial and algal communities, suggesting that the presence and quality of macrophytes directly and indirectly controlled the composition of microbial plankton.

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