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Microbial consortia in an ice‐covered high‐altitude lake impacted by additions of dissolved organic carbon and nutrients

Abstract : High-altitude lakes are sentinels of change. Anticipated increases in inputs of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from catchments in high-altitude lakes could affect planktonic interactions, especially if inputs occur during the winter ablation phase. However, the responses of plankton communities to added DOC interacting with nutrients during this period are still not well understood. We sampled under-ice water and used a multifactorial experimental design to investigate the DOC effect on planktonic organisms (phytoplankton and heterotrophic prokaryotic plankton [HPP]) and their interactions during the winter ablation phase. The plankton community was subjected to DOC additions (0, 2, 4, and 6 mg C/L) under two nutrient-availability treatments (natural concentrations or enriched in N and P), two light conditions (dark or light), and two temperature conditions (10 or 18℃). We found HPP to be co-limited by N, P, and C in our microcosms. Added glucose as available C-source for bacterioplankton was highly consumed at the end of the experiments. This consumption was not always related to an increase of the HPP biomass, due to a rising predatory control by ciliates and mixotrophic phytoplankton over bacteria. In dark conditions, the biomasses of both autotrophic and mixotrophic phytoplankton were substantially reduced, and the HPP biomass under DOC and nutrient additions principally depended on the predatory control exerted by ciliates. In light conditions, a diversification of top-down control over bacteria was observed, with the HPP response to DOC and nutrient additions depending on both mixotrophs and ciliates. Moreover, when heterotrophic ciliates and mixotrophs were present together in the experiments, the ciliates replaced the mixotrophs in phagotrophy over bacteria. Our experimental results indicate that DOC inputs can rapidly alter the trophic interactions of the planktonic food web, depending on nutrient limitation in high-altitude lakes. We found decreased commensalistic interactions between bacteria and phytoplankton, but increased competition and predation, after DOC additions. The expected future scenario of global change during the ablation phase is likely to change the balance between heterotrophic and autotrophic processes in planktonic food webs by increasing heterotrophic processes. These changes could have major repercussions on energy transfer from the base to the top of the food chain in high-altitude lakes. Exploring the planktonic response to rapid environmental changes during the ablation phase appears to be crucial in order to determine how vulnerable high-altitude lakes are to future change.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 10, 2022 - 8:41:49 AM
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Flavia Dory, Laurent Cavalli, Evelyne Franquet, B. Misson, Thierry Tatoni, et al.. Microbial consortia in an ice‐covered high‐altitude lake impacted by additions of dissolved organic carbon and nutrients. Freshwater Biology, 2021, 66 (8), pp.1648-1662. ⟨10.1111/fwb.13781⟩. ⟨hal-03375780⟩



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