Testing the metabolic theory of ecology with marine bacteria: different temperature sensitivity of major phylogenetic groups during the spring phytoplankton bloom.

Testing the metabolic theory of ecology with marine bacteria: different temperature sensitivity of major phylogenetic groups during the spring phytoplankton bloom

N. Arandia-Gorostidi, T. M. Huete-Stauffer, L. Alonso-Sáez, X.A.G. Morán. Testing the metabolic theory of ecology with marine bacteria: different temperature-sensitivity of major phylogenetic groups during the spring phytoplankton bloom. (2017) Environmental Microbiology, 19, 4493-4505, DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.13898

Nestor Arandia-Gorostidi, Tamara Megan Huete-Stauffer, Laura Alonso-Saez, Xose Anxelu G. Moran
Temperature, phytoplankton, ocean warming, bacterial communities
2017
​Although temperature is a key driver of bacterioplankton metabolism, the effect of ocean warming on different bacterial phylogenetic groups remains unclear. Here, we conducted monthly short-term incubations with natural coastal bacterial communities over an annual cycle to test the effect of experimental temperature on the growth rates and carrying capacities of four phylogenetic groups: SAR11, Rhodobacteraceae, Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. SAR11 was the most abundant group year-round as analysed by CARD-FISH, with maximum abundances in summer, while the other taxa peaked in spring. All groups, including SAR11, showed high temperature-sensitivity of growth rates and/or carrying capacities in spring, under phytoplankton bloom or post-bloom conditions. In that season, Rhodobacteraceae showed the strongest temperature response in growth rates, estimated here as activation energy (E, 1.43 eV), suggesting an advantage to outcompete other groups under warmer conditions. In summer E values were in general lower than 0.65 eV, the value predicted by the Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE). Contrary to MTE predictions, carrying capacity tended to increase with warming for all bacterial groups. Our analysis confirms that resource availability is key when addressing the temperature response of heterotrophic bacterioplankton. We further show that even under nutrient-sufficient conditions, warming differentially affected distinct bacterioplankton taxa.