Dissolved Organic Carbon Source Influences Tropical Coastal Heterotrophic Bacterioplankton Response to Experimental Warming.

Christian Lønborg, Federico Baltar, Cátia Carreira, Xose Anxelu G. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Global change impacts on marine biogeochemistry will be partly mediated by heterotrophic bacteria. Besides ocean warming, future environmental changes have been suggested to affect the quantity and quality of organic matter available for bacterial growth. However, it is yet to be determined in what way warming and changing substrate conditions will impact marine heterotrophic bacteria activity. Using short-term (4 days) experiments conducted at three temperatures (−3°C, in situ, +3°C) we assessed the temperature dependence of bacterial cycling of marine surface water used as a control and three different dissolved organic carbon (DOC) substrates (glucose, seagrass, and mangrove) in tropical coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Our study shows that DOC source had the largest effect on the measured bacterial response, but this response was amplified by increasing temperature. We specifically demonstrate that (1) extracellular enzymatic activity and DOC consumption increased with warming, (2) this enhanced DOC consumption did not result in increased biomass production, since the increases in respiration were larger than for bacterial growth with warming, and (3) different DOC bioavailability affected the magnitude of the microbial community response to warming. We suggest that in coastal tropical waters, the magnitude of heterotrophic bacterial productivity and enzyme activity response to warming will depend partly on the DOC source bioavailability.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in microbiology
StatePublished - Dec 5 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank the SeaSim team at AIMS for the help with setting up the experiments. We would also like to thank Michele Skuza and Margaret Wright for their very skilful help with Chlorophyll a analysis and experiment preparations.


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