Hysteretic response of Microbial Eukaryotic Communities to Gradually Decreased Nutrient Concentrations in Eutrophic Water
External environments to microbial eukaryotic communities often change gradually with time. However, whether the responses of microbial eukaryotic communities to these gradually changed environments are continuous or hysteretic and the mechanisms underlying these responses are largely unknown. Here, we used a microcosm to investigate the temporal variation of microbial eukaryotic communities with the gradually decreased nutrient concentrations (nitrogen and phosphorus). We found the differences of microbial eukaryotic community composition and species richness between the control and treatment groups were low during the days 0 to 12, although the nutrient concentrations decreased rapidly during this period in treatment group. However, these differences were clear during the days 14 to 18, although the nutrient concentrations decreased slowly during this period in treatment group. The mechanisms for these results are that the strong homogenous selection (perhaps due to the biotic factors) during the days 8 to 10 in treatment group might enhance the stability of microbial eukaryotic communities. However, the continuously decreased nutrient concentrations weakened the homogenous selection and promoted the strength of environmental filtering, and therefore resulted in the distinct change of microbial eukaryotic communities during the days 14 to 18 in treatment group. Fungi, Chlorophyta and Chrysophyta which associated with the nutrient removal played important roles in this hysteretic change of microbial eukaryotic communities. Overall, our findings suggest that disentangling the non-linear response of communities to gradual environmental changes is essential for understanding ecosystem restoration and degradation in future.
KeywordsMicrobial eukaryotic community Eutrophication Nitrogen and phosphorus Community stability Aquatic ecosystems Deterministic and stochastic processes
This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31500372 and 31971469), the Oceans and Fisheries Bureau of Fuzhou, China (FZHJ15), and the Special Foundation for Yong Scientists of Fuzhou University, China (XRC-17024).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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