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Viruses 2017, 9(9), 238; doi:10.3390/v9090238

The Response of Heterotrophic Prokaryote and Viral Communities to Labile Organic Carbon Inputs Is Controlled by the Predator Food Chain Structure

1
Department of Biology, University of Bergen, N-5020 Bergen, Norway
2
Uni Research Environment, Nygårdsgaten 112, 5008 Bergen, Norway
3
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Thormøhlensgate 55, N-5008 Bergen, Norway
Deceased.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mathias Middelboe and Corina P. D. Brussaard
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Viruses 2016)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2218 KB, uploaded 23 August 2017]   |  

Abstract

Factors controlling the community composition of marine heterotrophic prokaryotes include organic-C, mineral nutrients, predation, and viral lysis. Two mesocosm experiments, performed at an Arctic location and bottom-up manipulated with organic-C, had very different results in community composition for both prokaryotes and viruses. Previously, we showed how a simple mathematical model could reproduce food web level dynamics observed in these mesocosms, demonstrating strong top-down control through the predator chain from copepods via ciliates and heterotrophic nanoflagellates. Here, we use a steady-state analysis to connect ciliate biomass to bacterial carbon demand. This gives a coupling of top-down and bottom-up factors whereby low initial densities of ciliates are associated with mineral nutrient-limited heterotrophic prokaryotes that do not respond to external supply of labile organic-C. In contrast, high initial densities of ciliates give carbon-limited growth and high responsiveness to organic-C. The differences observed in ciliate abundance, and in prokaryote abundance and community composition in the two experiments were in accordance with these predictions. Responsiveness in the viral community followed a pattern similar to that of prokaryotes. Our study provides a unique link between the structure of the predator chain in the microbial food web and viral abundance and diversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine viral diversity; viral–host interaction; high latitude microbes; minimum food web model; copepods; ciliates; nutrient limitation; trophic cascade marine viral diversity; viral–host interaction; high latitude microbes; minimum food web model; copepods; ciliates; nutrient limitation; trophic cascade
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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    Doi: doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.865353
    Description: Supplementary data is available in the Pangea repository doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.865353

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sandaa, R.-A.; Pree, B.; Larsen, A.; Våge, S.; Töpper, B.; Töpper, J.P.; Thyrhaug, R.; Thingstad, T.F. The Response of Heterotrophic Prokaryote and Viral Communities to Labile Organic Carbon Inputs Is Controlled by the Predator Food Chain Structure. Viruses 2017, 9, 238.

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