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Title: Assembly of wood-inhabiting archaeal, bacterial and fungal communities along a salinity gradient: common taxa are broadly distributed but locally abundant in preferred habitats
Abstract

Wood decomposition in water is a key ecosystem process driven by diverse microbial taxa that likely differ in their affinities for freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats. How these decomposer communities assemble in situ or potentially colonize from other habitats remains poorly understood. At three watersheds on Coiba Island, Panama, we placed replicate sections of branch wood of a single tree species on land, and in freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats that constitute a downstream salinity gradient. We sequenced archaea, bacteria and fungi from wood samples collected after 3, 9 and 15 months to examine microbial community composition, and to examine habitat specificity and abundance patterns. We found that these microbial communities were broadly structured by similar factors, with a strong effect of salinity, but little effect of watershed identity on compositional variation. Moreover, common aquatic taxa were also present in wood incubated on land. Our results suggest that either taxa dispersed to both terrestrial and aquatic habitats, or microbes with broad habitat ranges were initially present in the wood as endophytes. Nonetheless, these habitat generalists varied greatly in abundance across habitats suggesting an important role for habitat filtering in maintaining distinct aquatic communities in freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10366775
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume:
98
Issue:
5
ISSN:
1574-6941
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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