Structures of benthic prokaryotic communities and their hydrolytic enzyme activities resuspended from samples of intertidal mudflats: An experimental approach

Abstract : Resuspended sediment can increase plankton biomass and the growth of bacteria, thus influencing the coastal planktonic microbial food web. But little is known about resuspension itself: is it a single massive change or a whole series of events and how does it affect the quantity and quality of resuspended prokaryotic cells? We simulated the sequential erosion of mud cores to better understand the fate and role of benthic prokaryotes resus-pended in the water column. We analyzed the total, attached and free-living prokaryotic cells resuspended, their structure and the activities of their hydrolytic enzymes in terms of the biotic and abiotic factors that affect the composition of microphytobenthic biofilm. Free living prokaryotes were resuspended during the fluff layer erosion phase (for shear velocities below 5 cm · s −1) regardless of the bed sediment composition. At the higher shear velocities, resuspended prokaryotes were attached to particulate matter. Free and attached cells are thus unevenly distributed, scattered throughout the organic matter (OM) in the uppermost mm of the sediment. Only 10–27% of the total cells initially resuspended were living and most of the Bacteria were Cyanobacteria and Gamma-proteobacteria; their numbers increased to over 30% in parallel with the hydrolytic enzyme activity at highest shear velocity. These conditions released prokaryotic cells having different functions that lie deep in the sediment; the most important of them are Archaea. Finally, composition of resuspended bacterial populations varied with resuspension intensity, and intense resus-pension events boosted the microbial dynamics and enzyme activities in the bottom layers of sea water.
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Clarisse Mallet, Hélène Agogué, Frédérique Bonnemoy, Katell Guizien, Francis Orvain, et al.. Structures of benthic prokaryotic communities and their hydrolytic enzyme activities resuspended from samples of intertidal mudflats: An experimental approach. Journal of Sea Research, Elsevier, 2014, Trophic significance of microbial biofilm in tidal flats, 92, pp.158-169. ⟨10.1016/j.seares.2014.01.005⟩. ⟨hal-01356084⟩

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