Microbial Ecology, 2010, Vol.60(3), pp.618-627
As extreme environmental conditions strongly affect bacterial community composition (BCC), we examined whether differences in pH—even at low pH—and in iron and sulfate concentrations lead to changes in BCC of acidic mining lakes. Thereby, we tested the following hypotheses: (1) diversity of the bacterial community in acidic lakes decreases with reducing pH, (2) BCC differs between epilimnion and hypolimnion, and (3) BCC in extremely acidic environments does not vary much over time. Therefore, we investigated the BCC of three acidic lakes with different pH values (2.3, 2.7, and 3.2) by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and subsequent sequencing of DGGE bands as well as catalyzed reporter deposition-FISH (CARD-FISH). BCC did not significantly vary among the studied lakes nor differ much between water layers. In contrast, BCC significantly changed over time, which is contradictory to our hypotheses. Bacterial communities were dominated by Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria, whereas Actino- and Acidobacteria rarely occurred. Cell numbers of both free and attached bacteria were positively related to DOC concentration. Overall, low pH and extreme chemical conditions of the studied lakes led to similar assemblages of bacteria with pronounced temporal differences. This notion indicates that temporal changes in environmental conditions including food web structure also affect unique communities of bacteria thriving at low pH.
Limnology ; Aquatic Ecological Zones ; Ph ; Mining Industry ; Universities And Colleges ; Sulfates;
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