Phycosphere Microbial Succession Patterns and Assembly Mechanisms in a Marine Dinoflagellate Bloom.


Shenzhen Public Platform for Screening and Application of Marine Microbial Resources, The Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China [Email]


Given the ecological significance of microorganisms in algal blooming events, it is critical to understand the mechanisms regarding their distribution under different conditions. We tested the hypothesis that microbial community succession is strongly associated with algal bloom stages, and that the assembly mechanisms are cocontrolled by deterministic and stochastic processes. Community structures and underlying ecological processes of microbial populations (attached and free-living bacteria) at three algal bloom stages (pre-, during, and postbloom) over a complete dinoflagellate Scrippsiella trochoidea bloom were investigated. Both attached and free-living taxa had a strong response to the bloom event, and the latter was more sensitive than the former. The contribution of environmental parameters to microbial variability was 40.2%. Interaction analysis showed that complex positive or negative correlation networks exist in phycosphere microbes. These relationships were the potential drivers of mutualist and competitive interactions that impacted bacterial succession. Null model analysis showed that the attached bacterial community primarily exhibited deterministic processes at pre- and during-bloom stages, while dispersal-related processes contributed to a greater extent at the postbloom stage. In the free-living bacterial community, homogeneous selection and dispersal limitation dominated in the initial phase, which gave way to more deterministic processes at the two later stages. Relative contribution analyses further demonstrated that the community turnover of attached bacteria was mainly driven by environmental selection, while stochastic factors had partial effects on the assembly of free-living bacteria. Taken together, these data demonstrated that a robust link exists between bacterioplankton community structure and bloom progression, and phycosphere microbial succession trajectories are cogoverned by both deterministic and random processes.IMPORTANCE Disentangling the mechanisms shaping bacterioplankton communities during a marine ecological event is a core concern for ecologists. Harmful algal bloom (HAB) is a typical ecological disaster, and its formation is significantly influenced by alga-bacterium interactions. Microbial community shifts during the HAB process are relatively well known. However, the assembly processes of microbial communities in an HAB are not fully understood, especially the relative influences of deterministic and stochastic processes. We therefore analyzed the relative contributions of deterministic and stochastic processes during an HAB event. Both free-living and attached bacterial groups had a dramatic response to the HAB, and the relative importance of determinism versus stochasticity varied between the two bacterial groups at various bloom stages. Environmental factors and biotic interactions were the main drivers impacting the microbial shift process. Our results strengthen the understanding of the ecological mechanisms controlling microbial community patterns during the HAB process.


assembly profile,coregulated,deterministic selection,dinoflagellate bloom,microbial community,random processes,