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Microbial Ecology

, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 136–147 | Cite as

Marked Succession of Cyanobacterial Communities Following Glacier Retreat in the High Arctic

  • Igor S. PessiEmail author
  • Ekaterina Pushkareva
  • Yannick Lara
  • Fabien Borderie
  • Annick Wilmotte
  • Josef Elster
Soil Microbiology

Abstract

Cyanobacteria are important colonizers of recently deglaciated proglacial soil but an in-depth investigation of cyanobacterial succession following glacier retreat has not yet been carried out. Here, we report on the successional trajectories of cyanobacterial communities in biological soil crusts (BSCs) along a 100-year deglaciation gradient in three glacier forefields in central Svalbard, High Arctic. Distance from the glacier terminus was used as a proxy for soil age (years since deglaciation), and cyanobacterial abundance and community composition were evaluated by epifluorescence microscopy and pyrosequencing of partial 16S rRNA gene sequences, respectively. Succession was characterized by a decrease in phylotype richness and a marked shift in community structure, resulting in a clear separation between early (10–20 years since deglaciation), mid (30–50 years), and late (80–100 years) communities. Changes in cyanobacterial community structure were mainly connected with soil age and associated shifts in soil chemical composition (mainly moisture, SOC, SMN, K, and Na concentrations). Phylotypes associated with early communities were related either to potentially novel lineages (< 97.5% similar to sequences currently available in GenBank) or lineages predominantly restricted to polar and alpine biotopes, suggesting that the initial colonization of proglacial soil is accomplished by cyanobacteria transported from nearby glacial environments. Late communities, on the other hand, included more widely distributed genotypes, which appear to establish only after the microenvironment has been modified by the pioneering taxa.

Keywords

Cyanobacteria Glacier forefield High Arctic High-throughput sequencing Primary succession Proglacial soil 

Notes

Acknowledgements

IS Pessi is a PhD FRIA fellow and A Wilmotte is a Research Associate of the FRS-FNRS. The authors would like to thank J Kavan for the help setting up the sampling strategy and L Cappelatti, HD Laughinghouse IV, PB Costa, E Verleyen, A Corato, T Gerards, and F Franck for the valuable suggestions and discussion.

Funding information

This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic (grants LM2010009 and RVO67985939) and the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS) under the projects PYROCYANO (grant CRCH1011-1513911) and BIPOLES (grant FRFC2457009).

Supplementary material

248_2018_1203_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.2 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 2.19 mb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor S. Pessi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ekaterina Pushkareva
    • 3
  • Yannick Lara
    • 1
    • 4
  • Fabien Borderie
    • 1
    • 5
  • Annick Wilmotte
    • 1
  • Josef Elster
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.InBioS – Centre for Protein EngineeringUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Centre for Polar EcologyUniversity of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic
  4. 4.UR Geology – Palaeobiogeology-Palaeobotany-PalaeopalynologyUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  5. 5.Laboratoire Chrono-environnement, UMR 6249 CNRS Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté UsC INRABesançonFrance
  6. 6.Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicTřeboňCzech Republic

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