, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 851-861
Date: 12 Dec 2007

Short-term variations in abundances and potential activities of viruses, bacteria and nanoprotists in Lake Bourget

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Samples were collected at four depths every 6 h over a 42-h period during two contrasting seasons (June vs. December) from Lake Bourget, France, for evidence of circadian fluctuations in the concentrations and potential activities of viruses, prokaryotes and protists in relation to environmental conditions: temperature, chlorophyll a and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. Considerable vertical and temporal fluctuations were observed for all variables. Circadian variations were noted for DOC and chlorophyll a concentrations. Despite the external abiotic forcing (light, water movements), the fluctuations of microbial variables (including viruses) in most cases were apparently linked to biotic factors and interactions. Standing stocks and activities, as well as the number and levels of correlations among the microbial components, were, surprisingly, higher in winter than in summer. We speculate that this was because trophic interactions prevailed over the seasonal forcing (i.e. temperature) in shaping the observed differences.