Special Issue "Microbial Ecology of Particulate Organic Matter Aggregates in Aquatic Ecosystems"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Biodiversity and Functionality of Aquatic Ecosystems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 July 2022 | Viewed by 1823

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Mina Bizic
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Experimental Limnology, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), 12587 Berlin, Germany
Interests: aquatic microbial ecology; oxic methane production; environmental microbiology; oxic methane paradox; global carbon cycle; microbial interactions; microbial ecology; single cell omics; sinking OM-particle degradation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Downward fluxes in particulate Organic Matter (OM) represent the major process for the sequestering and storing of atmospheric CO2 in sediment of aquatic bodies through the process known as the biological carbon pump. The sinking process of OM particles, typically referred to as marine or lake snow, has been studied for eight decades. However, though much is known, even more is left to be uncovered. For example, studies from the last decade have shown that the amount of carbon sequestered may be underestimated. There are two main reasons for this: first, the methodological difficulties in following OM particles from the surface to the sediment through the sinking process, and second, the lack of a good mechanistic understanding of the microbial processes taking place while OM particles sink. For example, the role of fungi in the degradation process of OM particles is largely unknown. Similarly, not much is known regarding the remineralization of OM by particle-associated viruses. In this Special Issue, we call for papers addressing OM particles colonizing communities, their activity and interactions, and the consequences for carbon transport through the water column. As such, we welcome, among others, studies addressing a comparative characterization of microbial communities of OM particles of different types and from different environments; metagenomic characterization of less-studied particle-associated microorganisms; activity measurements for OM particles determined via classical or sequencing techniques; studies focusing on the interactions between different colonizing populations and their effect on OM particle degradation; drivers of successions of microbial communities associated with OM particles. We further welcome papers addressing methodological improvements in the study of particle-associated microbial communities.

Dr. Mina Bizic
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • sinking OM particles
  • marine and lake snow
  • biological carbon pump
  • microbial interactions on OM particles
  • carbon-dioxide sequestration
  • organic carbon remineralization
  • microbial succession on OM particles
  • OM-particles degradation
  • methodological advancement in microbiology of OM particles
  • phytoplankton blooms breakdown
  • particulate organic matter
  • particle-associated bacteria
  • particle-associated fungi
  • particle-associated viruses

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Increasing Hydrostatic Pressure Impacts the Prokaryotic Diversity during Emiliania huxleyi Aggregates Degradation
Water 2021, 13(19), 2616; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13192616 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1285
In the dark ocean, the balance between the heterotrophic carbon demand and the supply of sinking carbon through the biological carbon pump remains poorly constrained. In situ tracking of the dynamics of microbial degradation processes occurring on the gravitational sinking particles is still [...] Read more.
In the dark ocean, the balance between the heterotrophic carbon demand and the supply of sinking carbon through the biological carbon pump remains poorly constrained. In situ tracking of the dynamics of microbial degradation processes occurring on the gravitational sinking particles is still challenging. Our particle sinking simulator system (PASS) intends to mimic as closely as possible the in situ variations in pressure and temperature experienced by gravitational sinking particles. Here, we used the PASS to simultaneously track geochemical and microbial changes that occurred during the sinking through the mesopelagic zone of laboratory-grown Emiliania huxleyi aggregates amended by a natural microbial community sampled at 105 m depth in the North Atlantic Ocean. The impact of pressure on the prokaryotic degradation of POC and dissolution of E. huxleyi-derived calcite was not marked compared to atmospheric pressure. In contrast, using global O2 consumption monitored in real-time inside the high-pressure bottles using planar optodes via a sapphire window, a reduction of respiration rate was recorded in surface-originated community assemblages under increasing pressure conditions. Moreover, using a 16S rRNA metabarcoding survey, we demonstrated a drastic difference in transcriptionally active prokaryotes associated with particles, incubated either at atmospheric pressure or under linearly increasing hydrostatic pressure conditions. The increase in hydrostatic pressure reduced both the phylogenetic diversity and the species richness. The incubation at atmospheric pressure, however, promoted an opportunistic community of “fast” degraders from the surface (Saccharospirillaceae, Hyphomonadaceae, and Pseudoalteromonadaceae), known to be associated with surface phytoplankton blooms. In contrast, the incubation under increasing pressure condition incubations revealed an increase in the particle colonizer families Flavobacteriaceae and Rhodobacteraceae, and also Colwelliaceae, which are known to be adapted to high hydrostatic pressure. Altogether, our results underline the need to perform biodegradation experiments of particles in conditions that mimic pressure and temperature encountered during their sinking along the water column to be ecologically relevant. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Did you say marine snow? Zooming into different classes of organic matter particles and their importance in the open ocean carbon cycle
Authors: Chloé BAUMAS; Mina BIZIC
Affiliation: Institut Méditerranéen d’Océanologie - MIO
Abstract: Marine particles mediate cycling of major elements on our planet (e.g., carbon) and play an important role in the balance of nutrients in the ocean. Three main classes of marine particles link the different parts of the open ocean by shaping carbon distribution: (i) sinking, (ii) suspended, and (iii) ascending. In this review we discuss characteristics of particles’ microbiome and significance to carbon sequestration in the ocean, as well as the current sampling methods associated with each class. In addition, we identify gaps in knowledge and highlight the need to better understand the highly heterogeneous single particles as micro-ecosystems before upscaling rates to the global scale.

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