Subtle bacterioplankton community responses to elevated CO2 and warming in the oligotrophic South Pacific gyre

Bacterioplankton play a critical role in primary production, carbon cycling, and nutrient cycling in the oligotrophic ocean. To investigate the effect of elevated CO2 and warming on the composition and function of bacterioplankton communities in oligotrophic waters, we performed two trace‐metal clean deck board incubation experiments during the New Zealand GEOTRACES transect of the South Pacific gyre (SPG). High‐throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene revealed that bacterioplankton community composition was distinct between the fringe and ultra‐oligotrophic centre of the SPG and changed consistently in response to elevated CO2 at the ultra‐oligotrophic centre but not at the mesotrophic fringe of the SPG. The combined effects of elevated CO2 and warming resulted in a high degree of heterogeneity between replicate communities. Community‐level protein synthesis rates (3H‐Leucine incorporation) and bacterioplankton abundance were not affected by elevated CO2 alone or in combination with warming at the fringe or ultra‐oligotrophic centre of the SPG. These data suggest bacterioplankton community responses to elevated CO2 may be modulated by nutrient regimes in open ocean ecosystems and highlight the need for further investigation in expanding oligotrophic subtropical gyres.

Allen R., Hoffmann L. J., Law C. S. & Summerfield T. C., in press. Subtle bacterioplankton community responses to elevated CO2 and warming in the oligotrophic South Pacific gyre. Environmental Microbiology Reports. doi:10.1111/1758-2229.12844. Article (subscription required).

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