Local and regional scale heterogeneity drive bacterial community diversity and composition in a polar desert

Kelli L. Feeser, David J. Van Horn, Heather N. Buelow, Daniel R. Colman, Theresa A. McHugh, Jordan Okie, Egbert Schwartz, Cristina D. Takacs-Vesbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The distribution of organisms in an environment is neither uniform nor random but is instead spatially patterned. The factors that control this patterning are complex and the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Soil microbes are critical to ecosystem function but exhibit highly complex distributions and community dynamics due in large part to the scale-dependent effects of environmental heterogeneity. To better understand the impact of environmental heterogeneity on the distribution of soil microbes, we sequenced the 16S rRNA gene from bacterial communities in the microbe-dominated polar desert ecosystem of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV), Antarctica. Significant differences in key edaphic variables and alpha diversity were observed among the three lake basins of the Taylor Valley (Kruskal-Wallis; pH: Χ2 = 68.89, P < 0.001, conductivity: Χ2 = 35.03, P < 0.001, observed species: Χ2 = 7.98, P = 0.019 and inverse Simpson: Χ2 = 18.52, P < 0.001) and each basin supported distinctive microbial communities (ANOSIM R = 0.466, P = 0.001, random forest ratio of 14.1). However, relationships between community structure and edaphic characteristics were highly variable and contextual, ranging in magnitude and direction across regional, basin, and local scales. Correlations among edaphic factors (pH and soil conductivity) and the relative abundance of specific phyla were most pronounced along local environmental gradients in the Lake Fryxell basin where Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria declined while Deinococcus-Thermus and Gemmatimonadetes increased with soil conductivity (all P < 0.1). Species richness was most strongly related to the soil conductivity gradient present within this study system. We suggest that the relative importance of pH versus soil conductivity in structuring microbial communities is related to the length of edaphic gradients and the spatial scale of sampling. These results highlight the importance of conducting studies over large ranges of key environmental gradients and across multiple spatial scales to assess the influence of environmental heterogeneity on the composition and diversity of microbial communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1928
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Volume9
Issue numberAUG
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 21 2018

Fingerprint

Soil
Lakes
Ecosystem
Acidobacteria
Deinococcus
Thermus
Bacteroidetes
Proteobacteria
rRNA Genes

Keywords

  • 16S rRNA genes
  • Environmental heterogeneity
  • Gradient analysis
  • McMurdo Dry Valleys
  • Polar desert
  • Spatial scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this

Feeser, K. L., Van Horn, D. J., Buelow, H. N., Colman, D. R., McHugh, T. A., Okie, J., ... Takacs-Vesbach, C. D. (2018). Local and regional scale heterogeneity drive bacterial community diversity and composition in a polar desert. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9(AUG), [1928]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01928

Local and regional scale heterogeneity drive bacterial community diversity and composition in a polar desert. / Feeser, Kelli L.; Van Horn, David J.; Buelow, Heather N.; Colman, Daniel R.; McHugh, Theresa A.; Okie, Jordan; Schwartz, Egbert; Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina D.

In: Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol. 9, No. AUG, 1928, 21.08.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Feeser, KL, Van Horn, DJ, Buelow, HN, Colman, DR, McHugh, TA, Okie, J, Schwartz, E & Takacs-Vesbach, CD 2018, 'Local and regional scale heterogeneity drive bacterial community diversity and composition in a polar desert', Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 9, no. AUG, 1928. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01928
Feeser, Kelli L. ; Van Horn, David J. ; Buelow, Heather N. ; Colman, Daniel R. ; McHugh, Theresa A. ; Okie, Jordan ; Schwartz, Egbert ; Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina D. / Local and regional scale heterogeneity drive bacterial community diversity and composition in a polar desert. In: Frontiers in Microbiology. 2018 ; Vol. 9, No. AUG.
@article{f54eafc77c5d4f9c98b553da3a30bf37,
title = "Local and regional scale heterogeneity drive bacterial community diversity and composition in a polar desert",
abstract = "The distribution of organisms in an environment is neither uniform nor random but is instead spatially patterned. The factors that control this patterning are complex and the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Soil microbes are critical to ecosystem function but exhibit highly complex distributions and community dynamics due in large part to the scale-dependent effects of environmental heterogeneity. To better understand the impact of environmental heterogeneity on the distribution of soil microbes, we sequenced the 16S rRNA gene from bacterial communities in the microbe-dominated polar desert ecosystem of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV), Antarctica. Significant differences in key edaphic variables and alpha diversity were observed among the three lake basins of the Taylor Valley (Kruskal-Wallis; pH: Χ2 = 68.89, P < 0.001, conductivity: Χ2 = 35.03, P < 0.001, observed species: Χ2 = 7.98, P = 0.019 and inverse Simpson: Χ2 = 18.52, P < 0.001) and each basin supported distinctive microbial communities (ANOSIM R = 0.466, P = 0.001, random forest ratio of 14.1). However, relationships between community structure and edaphic characteristics were highly variable and contextual, ranging in magnitude and direction across regional, basin, and local scales. Correlations among edaphic factors (pH and soil conductivity) and the relative abundance of specific phyla were most pronounced along local environmental gradients in the Lake Fryxell basin where Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria declined while Deinococcus-Thermus and Gemmatimonadetes increased with soil conductivity (all P < 0.1). Species richness was most strongly related to the soil conductivity gradient present within this study system. We suggest that the relative importance of pH versus soil conductivity in structuring microbial communities is related to the length of edaphic gradients and the spatial scale of sampling. These results highlight the importance of conducting studies over large ranges of key environmental gradients and across multiple spatial scales to assess the influence of environmental heterogeneity on the composition and diversity of microbial communities.",
keywords = "16S rRNA genes, Environmental heterogeneity, Gradient analysis, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Polar desert, Spatial scale",
author = "Feeser, {Kelli L.} and {Van Horn}, {David J.} and Buelow, {Heather N.} and Colman, {Daniel R.} and McHugh, {Theresa A.} and Jordan Okie and Egbert Schwartz and Takacs-Vesbach, {Cristina D.}",
year = "2018",
month = "8",
day = "21",
doi = "10.3389/fmicb.2018.01928",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "9",
journal = "Frontiers in Microbiology",
issn = "1664-302X",
publisher = "Frontiers Media S. A.",
number = "AUG",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Local and regional scale heterogeneity drive bacterial community diversity and composition in a polar desert

AU - Feeser, Kelli L.

AU - Van Horn, David J.

AU - Buelow, Heather N.

AU - Colman, Daniel R.

AU - McHugh, Theresa A.

AU - Okie, Jordan

AU - Schwartz, Egbert

AU - Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina D.

PY - 2018/8/21

Y1 - 2018/8/21

N2 - The distribution of organisms in an environment is neither uniform nor random but is instead spatially patterned. The factors that control this patterning are complex and the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Soil microbes are critical to ecosystem function but exhibit highly complex distributions and community dynamics due in large part to the scale-dependent effects of environmental heterogeneity. To better understand the impact of environmental heterogeneity on the distribution of soil microbes, we sequenced the 16S rRNA gene from bacterial communities in the microbe-dominated polar desert ecosystem of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV), Antarctica. Significant differences in key edaphic variables and alpha diversity were observed among the three lake basins of the Taylor Valley (Kruskal-Wallis; pH: Χ2 = 68.89, P < 0.001, conductivity: Χ2 = 35.03, P < 0.001, observed species: Χ2 = 7.98, P = 0.019 and inverse Simpson: Χ2 = 18.52, P < 0.001) and each basin supported distinctive microbial communities (ANOSIM R = 0.466, P = 0.001, random forest ratio of 14.1). However, relationships between community structure and edaphic characteristics were highly variable and contextual, ranging in magnitude and direction across regional, basin, and local scales. Correlations among edaphic factors (pH and soil conductivity) and the relative abundance of specific phyla were most pronounced along local environmental gradients in the Lake Fryxell basin where Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria declined while Deinococcus-Thermus and Gemmatimonadetes increased with soil conductivity (all P < 0.1). Species richness was most strongly related to the soil conductivity gradient present within this study system. We suggest that the relative importance of pH versus soil conductivity in structuring microbial communities is related to the length of edaphic gradients and the spatial scale of sampling. These results highlight the importance of conducting studies over large ranges of key environmental gradients and across multiple spatial scales to assess the influence of environmental heterogeneity on the composition and diversity of microbial communities.

AB - The distribution of organisms in an environment is neither uniform nor random but is instead spatially patterned. The factors that control this patterning are complex and the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Soil microbes are critical to ecosystem function but exhibit highly complex distributions and community dynamics due in large part to the scale-dependent effects of environmental heterogeneity. To better understand the impact of environmental heterogeneity on the distribution of soil microbes, we sequenced the 16S rRNA gene from bacterial communities in the microbe-dominated polar desert ecosystem of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV), Antarctica. Significant differences in key edaphic variables and alpha diversity were observed among the three lake basins of the Taylor Valley (Kruskal-Wallis; pH: Χ2 = 68.89, P < 0.001, conductivity: Χ2 = 35.03, P < 0.001, observed species: Χ2 = 7.98, P = 0.019 and inverse Simpson: Χ2 = 18.52, P < 0.001) and each basin supported distinctive microbial communities (ANOSIM R = 0.466, P = 0.001, random forest ratio of 14.1). However, relationships between community structure and edaphic characteristics were highly variable and contextual, ranging in magnitude and direction across regional, basin, and local scales. Correlations among edaphic factors (pH and soil conductivity) and the relative abundance of specific phyla were most pronounced along local environmental gradients in the Lake Fryxell basin where Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria declined while Deinococcus-Thermus and Gemmatimonadetes increased with soil conductivity (all P < 0.1). Species richness was most strongly related to the soil conductivity gradient present within this study system. We suggest that the relative importance of pH versus soil conductivity in structuring microbial communities is related to the length of edaphic gradients and the spatial scale of sampling. These results highlight the importance of conducting studies over large ranges of key environmental gradients and across multiple spatial scales to assess the influence of environmental heterogeneity on the composition and diversity of microbial communities.

KW - 16S rRNA genes

KW - Environmental heterogeneity

KW - Gradient analysis

KW - McMurdo Dry Valleys

KW - Polar desert

KW - Spatial scale

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85051854823&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85051854823&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3389/fmicb.2018.01928

DO - 10.3389/fmicb.2018.01928

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85051854823

VL - 9

JO - Frontiers in Microbiology

JF - Frontiers in Microbiology

SN - 1664-302X

IS - AUG

M1 - 1928

ER -