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Article

Biogeographical Distribution and Community Assembly of Active Protistan Assemblages along an Estuary to a Basin Transect of the Northern South China Sea

by 1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 3, 1,2, 1,2,* and 1,2,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, College of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
2
Fujian Key Laboratory of Marine Carbon Sequestration, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
3
College of Marine Science and Technology, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan 430000, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ulrich (Uli) Stingl
Microorganisms 2021, 9(2), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020351
Received: 18 November 2020 / Revised: 28 January 2021 / Accepted: 5 February 2021 / Published: 10 February 2021
Marine protists are essential for globally critical biological processes, including the biogeochemical cycles of matter and energy. However, compared with their prokaryotic counterpart, it remains largely unclear how environmental factors determine the diversity and distribution of the active protistan communities on the regional scale. In the present study, the biodiversity, community composition, and potential drivers of the total, abundant, and rare protistan groups were studied using high throughput sequencing on the V9 hyper-variable regions of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) along an estuary to basin transect in the northern South China Sea. Overall, Bacillariophyta and Cercozoa were abundant in the surface water; heterotrophic protists including Spirotrichea and marine stramenopiles 3 (MAST-3) were more abundant in the subsurface waters near the heavily urbanized Pearl River estuary; Chlorophyta and Pelagophyceae were abundant at the deep chlorophyll maximum depth, while Hacrobia, Radiolaria, and Excavata were the abundant groups in the deep water. Salinity, followed by water depth, temperature, and other biological factors, were the primary factors controlling the distinct vertical and horizontal distribution of the total and abundant protists. Rare taxa were driven by water depth, followed by temperature, salinity, and the concentrations of PO43−. The active protistan communities were mainly driven by dispersal limitation, followed by drift and other ecological processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbial eukaryotes; SSU rRNA; rare; abundant; environmental gradients; driving factors microbial eukaryotes; SSU rRNA; rare; abundant; environmental gradients; driving factors
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, R.; Hu, C.; Wang, J.; Sun, J.; Wang, Y.; Jiao, N.; Xu, D. Biogeographical Distribution and Community Assembly of Active Protistan Assemblages along an Estuary to a Basin Transect of the Northern South China Sea. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 351. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020351

AMA Style

Li R, Hu C, Wang J, Sun J, Wang Y, Jiao N, Xu D. Biogeographical Distribution and Community Assembly of Active Protistan Assemblages along an Estuary to a Basin Transect of the Northern South China Sea. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(2):351. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020351

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Ran, Chen Hu, Jianning Wang, Jun Sun, Ying Wang, Nianzhi Jiao, and Dapeng Xu. 2021. "Biogeographical Distribution and Community Assembly of Active Protistan Assemblages along an Estuary to a Basin Transect of the Northern South China Sea" Microorganisms 9, no. 2: 351. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020351

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