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Polar Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 1271–1287 | Cite as

A molecular survey of protist diversity through the central Arctic Ocean

  • Estelle KiliasEmail author
  • Gerhard Kattner
  • Christian Wolf
  • Stephan Frickenhaus
  • Katja Metfies
Original Paper

Abstract

The protist assemblage in the central Arctic Ocean is scarcely surveyed despite them being the major primary producers. Elucidating their response to changing environmental variables requires an a priori analysis of their current diversity, including abundant and rare species. In late summer 2011, samples were collected during the ARK-XXVI/3 expedition (RV Polarstern) to study Arctic protist community structures, by implementation of automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) and 454-pyrosequencing. Protist assemblages were related to the hydrology and environmental variables (temperature, salinity, ice coverage, nitrate, phosphate, and silicate). The abundant (≥1 %) biosphere and rare (<1 %) biosphere were considered separately in the diversity analysis in order to reveal their mutual relationships. A relation between hydrology and protist community structure was highly supported by ARISA and partially by 454-pyrosequencing. Sea ice showed a stronger influence on the local community structure than nutrient availability, making statements on the water mass influence more difficult. Dinoflagellates (Syndiniales), chlorophytes (Micromonas spp.), and haptophytes (Phaeocystis spp.) were important contributors to the abundant biosphere, while other dinoflagellates and stramenopiles dominated the rare biosphere. No significant correlation was found between the abundant and rare biosphere. However, relative contributions of major taxonomic groups revealed an unexpected stable community structure within the rare biosphere, indicating a potential constant protist reservoir. This study provides a first molecular survey of protist diversity in the central Arctic Ocean, focusing on the diversity and distribution of abundant and rare protists according to the environmental conditions, and can serve as baseline for future analysis.

Keywords

18S rRNA gene 454-Pyrosequencing ARISA Biogeography Diversity Phytoplankton 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was accomplished within the Young Investigator Group PLANKTOSENS (VH-NG-500), funded by the Initiative and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association. We thank the captain and crew of the RV Polarstern for their support during the cruise ARKXXVI/3. We are especially indebted to F. Kilpert and B. Beszteri for their support in bioinformatics, to Steven Holland for providing access to the program Analytic Rarefaction 1.3, to Dr. E.M. Nöthig for providing the Chl a data, and very grateful to C. Burau, K.U. Ludwichowski, A. Nicolaus, and K. Oetjen for excellent technical support in the laboratory.

Supplementary material

300_2014_1519_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (41 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 41 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Estelle Kilias
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gerhard Kattner
    • 1
  • Christian Wolf
    • 1
  • Stephan Frickenhaus
    • 1
  • Katja Metfies
    • 1
  1. 1.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany

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