Is the distribution of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus ecotypes in the Mediterranean Sea affected by global warming?

Type Article
Date 2011
Language English
Author(s) Mella-Flores D.1, 2, Mazard S.3, 4, Humily F.1, 2, Partensky F.1, 2, Mahe F.1, 2, Bariat L.5, 6, Courties C.5, 6, Marie D.1, 2, Ras J.7, 8, Mauriac R.9, Jeanthon C.1, 2, Bendif El Mahdi1, 2, Ostrowski M.3, 4, Scanlan D. J.3, Garczarek L.1, 2
Affiliation(s) 1 : CNRS, Observ Oceanol, UMR7144, Grp Plancton Ocean, F-29680 Roscoff, France.
2 : UPMC Univ Paris 06, Stn Biol, F-29680 Roscoff, France.
3 : Univ Warwick, Sch Life Sci, Coventry CV4 7AL, W Midlands, England.
4 : Macquarie Univ, Dept Chem & Biomol Sci, N Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia.
5 : CNRS INSU, F-66651 Banyuls Sur Mer, France.
6 : UPMC Univ Paris 06, Lab Arago, UMS2348, Observ Oceanol, F-66651 Banyuls Sur Mer, France.
7 : CNRS, F-06234 Villefranche Sur Mer, France.
8 : UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR7093, Lab Oceanog Villefranche, F-06234 Villefranche Sur Mer, France.
9 : Ctr Oceanol Marseille, Lab Oceanog Phys & Biogeochim, F-13288 Marseille 09, France.
Source Biogeosciences (1726-4170) (Copernicus Gesellschaft Mbh), 2011 , Vol. 8 , N. 9 , P. 2785-2804
DOI 10.5194/bg-8-2785-2011
WOS© Times Cited 70
Abstract Biological communities populating the Mediterranean Sea, which is situated at the northern boundary of the subtropics, are often claimed to be particularly affected by global warming. This is indicated, for instance, by the introduction of (sub) tropical species of fish or invertebrates that can displace local species. This raises the question of whether microbial communities are similarly affected, especially in the Levantine basin where sea surface temperatures have significantly risen over the last 25 years (0.50 +/- 0.11 degrees C in average per decade, P < 0.01). In this paper, the genetic diversity of the two most abundant members of the phytoplankton community, the picocyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus, was examined during two cruises through both eastern and western Mediterranean Sea basins held in September 1999 (PROSOPE cruise) and in June-July 2008 (BOUM cruise). Diversity was studied using dot blot hybridization with clade-specific 16S rRNA oligonucleotide probes and/or clone libraries of the 16S-23S ribosomal DNA Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) region, with a focus on the abundance of clades that may constitute bioindicators of warm waters. During both cruises, the dominant Prochlorococcus clade in the upper mixed layer at all stations was HLI, a clade typical of temperate waters, whereas the HLII clade, the dominant group in (sub) tropical waters, was only present at very low concentrations. The Synechococcus community was dominated by clades I, III and IV in the northwestern waters of the Gulf of Lions and by clade III and groups genetically related to clades WPC1 and VI in the rest of the Mediterranean Sea. In contrast, only a few sequences of clade II, a group typical of warm waters, were observed. These data indicate that local cyanobacterial populations have not yet been displaced by their ( sub) tropical counterparts.
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Mella-Flores D., Mazard S., Humily F., Partensky F., Mahe F., Bariat L., Courties C., Marie D., Ras J., Mauriac R., Jeanthon C., Bendif El Mahdi, Ostrowski M., Scanlan D. J., Garczarek L. (2011). Is the distribution of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus ecotypes in the Mediterranean Sea affected by global warming? Biogeosciences, 8(9), 2785-2804. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :