16S rRNA assessment of the influence of shading on early-successional biofilms in experimental streams

Lehmann, Katja; Singer, Andrew; Bowes, Michael J.; Ings, Nicola L.; Field, Dawn; Bell, Thomas. 2015 16S rRNA assessment of the influence of shading on early-successional biofilms in experimental streams. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 91 (12), fiv129. 11, pp.

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Elevated nutrient levels can lead to excessive biofilm growth, but reducing nutrient pollution is often challenging. There is therefore interest in developing control measures for biofilm growth in nutrient-rich rivers that could act as complement to direct reductions in nutrient load. Shading of rivers is one option that can mitigate blooms, but few studies have experimentally examined the differences in biofilm communities grown under shaded and unshaded conditions. We investigated the assembly and diversity of biofilm communities using in situ mesocosms within the River Thames (UK). Biofilm composition was surveyed by 454 sequencing of 16S amplicons (∼400 bp length covering regions V6/V7). The results confirm the importance of sunlight for biofilm community assembly; a resource that was utilized by a relatively small number of dominant taxa, leading to significantly less diversity than in shaded communities. These differences between unshaded and shaded treatments were either because of differences in resource utilization or loss of diatom-structures as habitats for bacteria. We observed more co-occurrence patterns and network interactions in the shaded communities. This lends further support to the proposal that increased river shading can help mitigate the effects from macronutrient pollution in rivers.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Acreman
UKCEH Fellows
Rees (from October 2014)
ISSN: 0168-6496
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: biofilm diversity, riparian shading, biofilm composition, networks
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 09 Feb 2016 11:09 +0 (UTC)

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