Browsing by Subject "MICROHABITAT"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-2 of 2
  • Salonen, Iines S.; Chronopoulou, Panagiota-Myrsini; Nomaki, Hidetaka; Langlet, Dewi; Tsuchiya, Masashi; Koho, Karoliina A. (2021)
    Foraminifera are unicellular eukaryotes that are an integral part of benthic fauna in many marine ecosystems, including the deep sea, with direct impacts on benthic biogeochemical cycles. In these systems, different foraminiferal species are known to have a distinct vertical distribution, i.e., microhabitat preference, which is tightly linked to the physico-chemical zonation of the sediment. Hence, foraminifera are well-adapted to thrive in various conditions, even under anoxia. However, despite the ecological and biogeochemical significance of foraminifera, their ecology remains poorly understood. This is especially true in terms of the composition and diversity of their microbiome, although foraminifera are known to harbor diverse endobionts, which may have a significant meaning to each species' survival strategy. In this study, we used 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding to investigate the microbiomes of five different deep-sea benthic foraminiferal species representing differing microhabitat preferences. The microbiomes of these species were compared intra- and inter-specifically, as well as with the surrounding sediment bacterial community. Our analysis indicated that each species was characterized with a distinct, statistically different microbiome that also differed from the surrounding sediment community in terms of diversity and dominant bacterial groups. We were also able to distinguish specific bacterial groups that seemed to be strongly associated with particular foraminiferal species, such as the family Marinilabiliaceae for Chilostomella ovoidea and the family Hyphomicrobiaceae for Bulimina subornata and Bulimina striata. The presence of bacterial groups that are tightly associated to a certain foraminiferal species implies that there may exist unique, potentially symbiotic relationships between foraminifera and bacteria that have been previously overlooked. Furthermore, the foraminifera contained chloroplast reads originating from different sources, likely reflecting trophic preferences and ecological characteristics of the different species. This study demonstrates the potential of 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding in resolving the microbiome composition and diversity of eukaryotic unicellular organisms, providing unique in situ insights into enigmatic deep-sea ecosystems.
  • Burgazzi, Gemma; Laini, Alex; Ovaskainen, Otso; Sacco, Mattia; Stubbington, Rachel; Viaroli, Pierluigi (2020)
    According to metacommunity theories, the structure of natural communities is the result of both environmental filtering and spatial processes, with their relative importance depending on factors including local habitat characteristics, functional features of organisms, and the spatial scale considered. However, few studies have explored environmental and spatial processes in riverine systems at local scales, explicitly incorporating spatial coordinates into multi-taxa distribution models. To address this gap, we conducted a small-scale study to discriminate between abiotic and biotic factors affecting the distribution of aquatic macroinvertebrates, applying metacommunity concepts. We studied a mountain section in each of three perennial streams within the Po River Basin (northern Italy). We sampled macroinvertebrates both in summer and winter, using specific in situ 50-point random sampling grids. Environmental factors, including benthic organic matter (BOM), flow velocity, water depth, and substrate were recorded together with spatial coordinates for each sampling point. The relationships between community metrics (taxon richness, abundance, biomass, biomass-abundance ratio, and functional feeding groups) and explanatory variables (environmental and spatial) were assessed using generalised additive models. The influence of the explanatory variables on community structure was analysed with joint species distribution models. Environmental variables-primarily BOM-were the main drivers affecting community metrics, whereas the effects of spatial variables varied among metrics, streams, and seasons. During summer, community structure was strongly affected by BOM and spatial position within the riverbed, the latter probably being a proxy for mass effects mediated by biotic and stochastic processes. In contrast, community structure was mainly shaped by hydraulic variables in winter. Using macroinvertebrate communities as a model group, our results demonstrate that metacommunity concepts can explain small-scale variability in community structure. We found that both environmental filtering and biotic processes shape local communities, with the strength of these drivers depending on the season. These insights provide baseline knowledge that informs our understanding of ecological responses to environmental variability in contexts including restoration ecology, habitat suitability modelling, and biomonitoring.