The effect of top-predator presence and phenotype on aquatic microbial communities

Sullam, Karen; Matthews, Blake; Aebischer, Thierry; Seehausen, Ole; Bürgmann, Helmut (2017). The effect of top-predator presence and phenotype on aquatic microbial communities. Ecology and evolution, 7(5), pp. 1572-1582. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 10.1002/ece3.2784

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The presence of predators can impact a variety of organisms within the ecosystem, including microorganisms. Because the effects of fish predators and their phenotypic differences on microbial communities are poorly studied, we tested how the presence/absence, genotype, and plasticity of the predatory threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) influences aquatic microbes in outdoor mesocosms. We reared lake and stream stickleback genotypes on contrasting food resources to adulthood, and then added them to aquatic mesocosm ecosystems to assess their impact on the planktonic bacterial community. We also investigated if the effects of fish persisted following the removal of adults, and the subsequent addition of a homogenous juvenile fish population. The presence of adult stickleback increased the number of bacterial OTUs and altered the size structure of the microbial community, whereas their phenotype affected bacterial community composition. Some of these effects were detectable after adult fish were removed from the mesocosms, and after juvenile fish were placed in the tanks, most of these effects disappeared. Our results suggest that fish can have strong short-term, and potentially long-term, effects on microbial communities that are partially mediated by phenotypic variation of fish.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Aebischer, Thierry and Seehausen, Ole

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

2045-7758

Publisher:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

20 Jul 2017 11:27

Last Modified:

20 Jul 2017 11:27

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/ece3.2784

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.93526

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/93526

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