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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Nutrient and Stoichiometry Gradients on Microbial Assemblages in Erhai Lake and Its Input Streams

State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
Department of Water Environment, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana, Polson, MT 59860, USA
Yunnan Hydrology and Water Resources Bureau Dali Branch, Dali 671000, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(8), 1711;
Received: 23 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 17 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancing Knowledge on Cyanobacterial Blooms in Freshwaters)
Networks of lakes and streams are linked by downslope flows of material and energy within catchments. Understanding how bacterial assemblages are associated with nutrients and stoichiometric gradients in lakes and streams is essential for understanding biogeochemical cycling in freshwater ecosystems. In this study, we conducted field sampling of bacterial communities from lake water and stream biofilms in Erhai Lake watershed. We determined bacterial communities using high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing and explored the relationship between bacterial composition and environmental factors using networking analysis, canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), and variation partitioning analysis (VPA). Physicochemical parameters, nutrients, and nutrient ratios gradients between the lake and the streams were strongly associated with the differences in community composition and the dominant taxa. Cyanobacteria dominated in Erhai Lake, while Proteobacteria dominated in streams. The stream bacterial network was more stable with multiple stressors, including physicochemical-factors and nutrient-factors, while the lake bacterial network was more fragile and susceptible to human activities with dominant nutrients (phosphorus). Negative correlations between bacterial communities and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) as well as positive correlations between bacterial communities and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the network indicated these factors had strong effect on bacterial succession. Erhai Lake is in a eutrophic state, and high relative abundances of Synechococcus (40.62%) and Microcystis (16.2%) were noted during the course of our study. CCA indicated that nutrients (phosphorus) were key parameters driving Cyanobacteria-dominated community structure. By classifying the environmental factors into five categories, VPA analyses identified that P-factor (total phosphorus (TP) and SRP) as well as the synergistic effect of C-factor (DOC), N-factor (NO3), and P-factor (TP and SRP) played a central role in structuring the bacterial communities in Erhai Lake. Heterogeneous physicochemical conditions explained the variations in bacterial assemblages in streams. This study provides a picture of stream–lake linkages from the perspective of bacterial community structure as well as key factors driving bacterial assemblages within lakes and streams at the whole watershed scale. We further argue that better management of phosphorus on the watershed scale is needed for ameliorating eutrophication of Erhai Lake. View Full-Text
Keywords: stream-lake linkage; taxonomic; bacterial community; environmental change stream-lake linkage; taxonomic; bacterial community; environmental change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, Y.; Qu, X.; Elser, J.J.; Peng, W.; Zhang, M.; Ren, Z.; Zhang, H.; Zhang, Y.; Yang, H. Impact of Nutrient and Stoichiometry Gradients on Microbial Assemblages in Erhai Lake and Its Input Streams. Water 2019, 11, 1711.

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