Bacterial community composition and physiological shifts associated with the el niño southern oscillation (enso) in the patos lagoon estuary

They, Ng Haig; Ferreira, Lise Maria Mendes Holanda de Melo; Marins, Luis Fernando Fernandes; Abreu, Paulo Cesar Oliveira Vergne de


The Patos Lagoon estuary is a microtidal system that is strongly regulated by atmospheric forces, including remote large-scale phenomena such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which affects precipitation patterns in the region. In this study, we investigated whether the bacterial community composition (BCC), community-level physiological profiles (CLPP), and a set of environmental variables were affected by the transition from a moderate El Niño to a strong La Niña event (June 2010 to May 2011). We identified two distinct periods: a period following El Niño that was characterized by low salinity and high concentrations of NO3 − and PO4 −3 and low molecular weight (LMW) substances and a period following La Niña during which salinity, temperature, and transparency increased and the concentrations of nutrients and LMW substances decreased. The BCC and CLPP were significantly altered in response to this transition. This is the first study addressing the effect of ENSO on bacteria at the community level in an estuarine system. Our results suggest that there is a link between ENSO and bacteria, indicating the role of climate variability in bacterial activities and, hence, the cycling of organic matter by these microorganisms.

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  • IO - Artigos publicados em periódicos