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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

The phyto-bacterioplankton couple in a shallow freshwater ecosystem: Who leads the dance?

Louati, Imen; Nunan, Naoise; Tambosco, Kevin; Bernard, Cecile; Humbert, Jean-Francois; Leloup, Julie


Bloom-forming phytoplankton dynamics are still unpredictable, even though it is known that several abiotic factors, such as nutrient availability and temperature, are key factors for bloom development. We investigated whether biotic factors, i.e. the bacterioplankton composition (via 16SrDNA metabarcoding), were correlated with phytoplankton dynamics, through a weekly monitoring of a shallow lake known to host recurrent cyanobacterial blooms. We detected concomitant changes in both bacterial and phytoplankton community biomass and diversity. During the bloom event, a significant decrease in phytoplankton diversity, was detected, with a first co-dominance of Ceratium, Microcystis and Aphanizomenon, followed by a co-dominance of the two cyanobacterial genera. In the same time, we observed a decrease of the particle-associated (PA) bacterial richness and the emergence of a specific bacterial consortium that was potentially better adapted to the new nutritional niche. Unexpectedly, changes in PA bacterial communities occurred just before the development the emergence of the phytoplanktonic bloom and the associated modification of the phytoplanktonic community composition, suggesting that changes in environmental conditions leading to the bloom, were first sensed by the bacterial PA community. This last was quite stable throughout the bloom event, even though there were changes in the blooming species, suggesting that the association between cyanobacterial species and bacterial communities may not be as tight as previously described for monospecific blooming communities. Finally, the dynamics of the freeliving (FL) bacterial communities displayed a different trajectory from those of the PA and phytoplankton communities. This FL communities can be viewed as a reservoir for bacterial recruitment for the PA fraction. Altogether, these data also highlight s that the spatial organization within these different microenvironments in the water column is a relevant factor in the structuring of these communities.


Cyanobacterial bloom; Eutrophic lake; Phototrophic-heterotrophic interactions; Temporal dynamic

Published in

Harmful Algae
2023, Volume: 126, article number: 102436
Publisher: ELSEVIER

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