Assembly processes and functional diversity of marine protists and their rare biosphere

Type Article
Date 2023-07
Language English
Author(s) Ramond Pierre1, Siano Raffaele2, Sourisseau MarcORCID2, Logares Ramiro1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM), Department of Marine Biology and Oceanography, CSIC, Barcelona, Catalunya, 08003, Spain
2 : DYNECO/Pelagos, Ifremer-Centre de Brest, Technopôle Brest Iroise, Plouzané, 29280, France
Source Environmental Microbiome (2524-6372) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2023-07 , Vol. 18 , N. 1 , P. 59 (14p.)
DOI 10.1186/s40793-023-00513-w
Keyword(s) Community assembly, Rare biosphere, Marine protists, Community ecology, Functional ecology

Background The mechanisms shaping the rare microbial biosphere and its role in ecosystems remain unclear. We developed an approach to study ecological patterns in the rare biosphere and use it on a vast collection of marine microbiomes, sampled in coastal ecosystems at a regional scale. We study the assembly processes, and the ecological strategies constituting the rare protistan biosphere. Using the phylogeny and morpho-trophic traits of these protists, we also explore their functional potential. Results Taxonomic community composition remained stable along rank abundance curves. Conditionally rare taxa, driven by selection processes, and transiently rare taxa, with stochastic distributions, were evidenced along the rank abundance curves of all size-fractions. Specific taxa within the divisions Sagenista, Picozoa, Telonemia, and Choanoflagellida were rare across time and space. The distribution of traits along rank abundance curves outlined a high functional redundancy between rare and abundant protists. Nevertheless, trophic traits illustrated an interplay between the trophic groups of different size-fractions. Conclusions Our results suggest that rare and abundant protists are evolutionary closely related, most notably due to the high microdiversity found in the rare biosphere. We evidenced a succession of assembly processes and strategies of rarity along rank abundance curves that we hypothesize to be common to most microbiomes at the regional scale. Despite high functional redundancy in the rare protistan biosphere, permanently rare protists were evidenced, and they could play critical functions as bacterivores and decomposers from within the rare biosphere. Finally, changes in the composition of the rare protistan biosphere could be influenced by the trophic regime of aquatic ecosystems. Our work contributes to understanding the role of rare protists in microbiomes.

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