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Cascading effects in freshwater microbial food webs by predatory Cercozoa, Katablepharidacea and ciliates feeding on aplastidic bacterivorous cryptophytes


Šimek, Karel; Grujčić, Vesna; Mukherjee, Indranil; Kasalický, Vojtěch; Nedoma, Jiří; Posch, Thomas; Mehrshad, Maliheh; Salcher, Michaela M (2020). Cascading effects in freshwater microbial food webs by predatory Cercozoa, Katablepharidacea and ciliates feeding on aplastidic bacterivorous cryptophytes. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 96(10):fiaa121.

Abstract

Heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF) are considered as major planktonic bacterivores, however, larger HNF taxa can also be important predators of eukaryotes. To examine this trophic cascading, natural protistan communities from a freshwater reservoir were released from grazing pressure by zooplankton via filtration through 10- and 5-µm filters, yielding microbial food webs of different complexity. Protistan growth was stimulated by amendments of five Limnohabitans strains, thus yielding five prey-specific treatments distinctly modulating protistan communities in 10- versus 5-µm fractions. HNF dynamics was tracked by applying five eukaryotic fluorescence in situ hybridization probes covering 55–90% of total flagellates. During the first experimental part, mainly small bacterivorous Cryptophyceae prevailed, with significantly higher abundances in 5-µm treatments. Larger predatory flagellates affiliating with Katablepharidacea and one Cercozoan lineage (increasing to up to 28% of total HNF) proliferated towards the experimental endpoint, having obviously small phagocytized HNF in their food vacuoles. These predatory flagellates reached higher abundances in 10-µm treatments, where small ciliate predators and flagellate hunters also (Urotricha spp., Balanion planctonicum) dominated the ciliate assemblage. Overall, our study reports pronounced cascading effects from bacteria to bacterivorous HNF, predatory HNF and ciliates in highly treatment-specific fashions, defined by both prey-food characteristics and feeding modes of predominating protists.

Abstract

Heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF) are considered as major planktonic bacterivores, however, larger HNF taxa can also be important predators of eukaryotes. To examine this trophic cascading, natural protistan communities from a freshwater reservoir were released from grazing pressure by zooplankton via filtration through 10- and 5-µm filters, yielding microbial food webs of different complexity. Protistan growth was stimulated by amendments of five Limnohabitans strains, thus yielding five prey-specific treatments distinctly modulating protistan communities in 10- versus 5-µm fractions. HNF dynamics was tracked by applying five eukaryotic fluorescence in situ hybridization probes covering 55–90% of total flagellates. During the first experimental part, mainly small bacterivorous Cryptophyceae prevailed, with significantly higher abundances in 5-µm treatments. Larger predatory flagellates affiliating with Katablepharidacea and one Cercozoan lineage (increasing to up to 28% of total HNF) proliferated towards the experimental endpoint, having obviously small phagocytized HNF in their food vacuoles. These predatory flagellates reached higher abundances in 10-µm treatments, where small ciliate predators and flagellate hunters also (Urotricha spp., Balanion planctonicum) dominated the ciliate assemblage. Overall, our study reports pronounced cascading effects from bacteria to bacterivorous HNF, predatory HNF and ciliates in highly treatment-specific fashions, defined by both prey-food characteristics and feeding modes of predominating protists.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Microbiology
Physical Sciences > Ecology
Life Sciences > Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Microbiology
Language:English
Date:6 October 2020
Deposited On:29 Jan 2021 11:04
Last Modified:01 Feb 2021 16:31
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0168-6496
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiaa121
PubMed ID:32556274

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