Hysteretic response of Microbial Eukaryotic Communities to Gradually Decreased Nutrient Concentrations in Eutrophic Water

  • Lemian LiuEmail author
  • Shanshan Wang
  • Jianfeng ChenEmail author
Microbiology of Aquatic Systems


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.


Microbial eukaryotic community Eutrophication Nitrogen and phosphorus Community stability Aquatic ecosystems Deterministic and stochastic processes 


Funding Information

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.

Supplementary material

248_2019_1457_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (579 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 579 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technical Innovation Service Platform for High Value and High Quality Utilization of Marine OrganismFuzhou UniversityFuzhouChina
  2. 2.Fujian Engineering and Technology Research Center for Comprehensive Utilization of Marine Products WasteFuzhou UniversityFuzhouChina
  3. 3.Fuzhou Industrial Technology Innovation Center for High Value Utilization of Marine ProductsFuzhou UniversityFuzhouChina

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