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Stratil S.B.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Neulinger S.C.,University of Kiel | Knecht H.,ICMB Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology Kiel | Friedrichs A.K.,ICMB Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology Kiel | And 2 more authors.
FEMS Microbiology Ecology | Year: 2014

Epibiotic biofilms have the potential to control major aspects of the biology and ecology of their hosts. Their composition and function may thus be essential for the health of the host. We tested the influence of salinity on the composition of epibacterial communities associated with the brown macroalga Fucus vesiculosus. Algal individuals were incubated at three salinities (5, 19, and 25) for 14 days and nonliving reference substrata (stones) were included in the experiment. Subsequently, the composition of their surface-associated bacterial communities was analyzed by 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene sequences. Redundancy analysis revealed that the composition of epiphytic and epilithic communities significantly differed and were both affected by salinity. We found that 5% of 2494 epiphytic operational taxonomic units at 97% sequence similarity were responsible for the observed shifts. Epibacterial α-diversity was significantly lower at salinity 5 but did not differ between substrata. Our results indicate that salinity is an important factor in structuring alga-associated epibacterial communities with respect to composition and/or diversity. Whether direct or indirect mechanisms (via altered biotic interactions) may have been responsible for the observed shifts is discussed. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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