Marine microbial communities of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon are influenced by riverine floodwaters and seasonal weather events

Florent E. Angly, Candice Heath, Thomas C. Morgan, Hemerson Tonin, Virginia I Rich, Britta Schaffelke, David G. Bourne, Gene W. Tyson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The role of microorganisms in maintaining coral reef health is increasingly recog- nized. Riverine floodwater containing herbicides and excess nutrients from fertilizers compromises water quality in the inshore Great Barrier Reef (GBR), with unknown consequences for planktonic marine microbial communities and thus coral reefs. In this baseline study, inshore GBR microbial communities were monitored along a 124 km long transect between 2011 and 2013 using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequenc- ing. Members of the bacterial orders Rickettsiales (e.g., Pelagibacteraceae) and Syne- chococcales (e.g., Prochlorococcus), and of the archaeal class Marine Group II were prevalent in all samples, exhibiting a clear seasonal dynamics. Microbial communities near the Tully river mouth included a mixture of taxa from offshore marine sites and from the river system. The environmental parameters collected could be summarized into four groups, represented by salinity, rainfall, temperature and water quality, that drove the composition of microbial communities. During the wet season, lower salin- ity and a lower water quality index resulting from higher river discharge corresponded to increases in riverine taxa at sites near the river mouth. Particularly large, transient changes in microbial community structure were seen during the extreme wet season 2010-11, and may be partially attributed to the effects of wind and waves, which re- suspend sediments and homogenize the water column in shallow near-shore regions. This work shows that anthropogenic floodwaters and other environmental parameters work in conjunction to drive the spatial distribution of microorganisms in the GBR lagoon, as well as their seasonal and daily dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1511
JournalPeerJ
Volume2016
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Reefs
Weather
Great Barrier Reef
Rivers
microbial communities
Water Quality
weather
Coral Reefs
Salinity
Water quality
rivers
water quality
Mouth
Prochlorococcus
Microorganisms
coral reefs
mouth
wet season
Rickettsiales
Fertilizers

Keywords

  • Amplicon sequencing
  • Anthropogenic impacts
  • Coral reefs
  • Floodwaters
  • Microbiology
  • Monitoring
  • Seasonality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Marine microbial communities of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon are influenced by riverine floodwaters and seasonal weather events. / Angly, Florent E.; Heath, Candice; Morgan, Thomas C.; Tonin, Hemerson; Rich, Virginia I; Schaffelke, Britta; Bourne, David G.; Tyson, Gene W.

In: PeerJ, Vol. 2016, No. 1, e1511, 2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Angly, FE, Heath, C, Morgan, TC, Tonin, H, Rich, VI, Schaffelke, B, Bourne, DG & Tyson, GW 2016, 'Marine microbial communities of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon are influenced by riverine floodwaters and seasonal weather events', PeerJ, vol. 2016, no. 1, e1511. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1511
Angly, Florent E. ; Heath, Candice ; Morgan, Thomas C. ; Tonin, Hemerson ; Rich, Virginia I ; Schaffelke, Britta ; Bourne, David G. ; Tyson, Gene W. / Marine microbial communities of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon are influenced by riverine floodwaters and seasonal weather events. In: PeerJ. 2016 ; Vol. 2016, No. 1.
@article{d5f6fdf4ca3e4aaf901dee410147353d,
title = "Marine microbial communities of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon are influenced by riverine floodwaters and seasonal weather events",
abstract = "The role of microorganisms in maintaining coral reef health is increasingly recog- nized. Riverine floodwater containing herbicides and excess nutrients from fertilizers compromises water quality in the inshore Great Barrier Reef (GBR), with unknown consequences for planktonic marine microbial communities and thus coral reefs. In this baseline study, inshore GBR microbial communities were monitored along a 124 km long transect between 2011 and 2013 using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequenc- ing. Members of the bacterial orders Rickettsiales (e.g., Pelagibacteraceae) and Syne- chococcales (e.g., Prochlorococcus), and of the archaeal class Marine Group II were prevalent in all samples, exhibiting a clear seasonal dynamics. Microbial communities near the Tully river mouth included a mixture of taxa from offshore marine sites and from the river system. The environmental parameters collected could be summarized into four groups, represented by salinity, rainfall, temperature and water quality, that drove the composition of microbial communities. During the wet season, lower salin- ity and a lower water quality index resulting from higher river discharge corresponded to increases in riverine taxa at sites near the river mouth. Particularly large, transient changes in microbial community structure were seen during the extreme wet season 2010-11, and may be partially attributed to the effects of wind and waves, which re- suspend sediments and homogenize the water column in shallow near-shore regions. This work shows that anthropogenic floodwaters and other environmental parameters work in conjunction to drive the spatial distribution of microorganisms in the GBR lagoon, as well as their seasonal and daily dynamics.",
keywords = "Amplicon sequencing, Anthropogenic impacts, Coral reefs, Floodwaters, Microbiology, Monitoring, Seasonality",
author = "Angly, {Florent E.} and Candice Heath and Morgan, {Thomas C.} and Hemerson Tonin and Rich, {Virginia I} and Britta Schaffelke and Bourne, {David G.} and Tyson, {Gene W.}",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.7717/peerj.1511",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "2016",
journal = "PeerJ",
issn = "2167-8359",
publisher = "PeerJ",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Marine microbial communities of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon are influenced by riverine floodwaters and seasonal weather events

AU - Angly, Florent E.

AU - Heath, Candice

AU - Morgan, Thomas C.

AU - Tonin, Hemerson

AU - Rich, Virginia I

AU - Schaffelke, Britta

AU - Bourne, David G.

AU - Tyson, Gene W.

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - The role of microorganisms in maintaining coral reef health is increasingly recog- nized. Riverine floodwater containing herbicides and excess nutrients from fertilizers compromises water quality in the inshore Great Barrier Reef (GBR), with unknown consequences for planktonic marine microbial communities and thus coral reefs. In this baseline study, inshore GBR microbial communities were monitored along a 124 km long transect between 2011 and 2013 using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequenc- ing. Members of the bacterial orders Rickettsiales (e.g., Pelagibacteraceae) and Syne- chococcales (e.g., Prochlorococcus), and of the archaeal class Marine Group II were prevalent in all samples, exhibiting a clear seasonal dynamics. Microbial communities near the Tully river mouth included a mixture of taxa from offshore marine sites and from the river system. The environmental parameters collected could be summarized into four groups, represented by salinity, rainfall, temperature and water quality, that drove the composition of microbial communities. During the wet season, lower salin- ity and a lower water quality index resulting from higher river discharge corresponded to increases in riverine taxa at sites near the river mouth. Particularly large, transient changes in microbial community structure were seen during the extreme wet season 2010-11, and may be partially attributed to the effects of wind and waves, which re- suspend sediments and homogenize the water column in shallow near-shore regions. This work shows that anthropogenic floodwaters and other environmental parameters work in conjunction to drive the spatial distribution of microorganisms in the GBR lagoon, as well as their seasonal and daily dynamics.

AB - The role of microorganisms in maintaining coral reef health is increasingly recog- nized. Riverine floodwater containing herbicides and excess nutrients from fertilizers compromises water quality in the inshore Great Barrier Reef (GBR), with unknown consequences for planktonic marine microbial communities and thus coral reefs. In this baseline study, inshore GBR microbial communities were monitored along a 124 km long transect between 2011 and 2013 using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequenc- ing. Members of the bacterial orders Rickettsiales (e.g., Pelagibacteraceae) and Syne- chococcales (e.g., Prochlorococcus), and of the archaeal class Marine Group II were prevalent in all samples, exhibiting a clear seasonal dynamics. Microbial communities near the Tully river mouth included a mixture of taxa from offshore marine sites and from the river system. The environmental parameters collected could be summarized into four groups, represented by salinity, rainfall, temperature and water quality, that drove the composition of microbial communities. During the wet season, lower salin- ity and a lower water quality index resulting from higher river discharge corresponded to increases in riverine taxa at sites near the river mouth. Particularly large, transient changes in microbial community structure were seen during the extreme wet season 2010-11, and may be partially attributed to the effects of wind and waves, which re- suspend sediments and homogenize the water column in shallow near-shore regions. This work shows that anthropogenic floodwaters and other environmental parameters work in conjunction to drive the spatial distribution of microorganisms in the GBR lagoon, as well as their seasonal and daily dynamics.

KW - Amplicon sequencing

KW - Anthropogenic impacts

KW - Coral reefs

KW - Floodwaters

KW - Microbiology

KW - Monitoring

KW - Seasonality

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84955591762&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84955591762&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.7717/peerj.1511

DO - 10.7717/peerj.1511

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84955591762

VL - 2016

JO - PeerJ

JF - PeerJ

SN - 2167-8359

IS - 1

M1 - e1511

ER -