Advertisement

Extremophiles

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 355–361 | Cite as

Competitive exclusion of Cyanobacterial species in the Great Salt Lake

  • Hillary C. Roney
  • Gary M. Booth
  • Paul Alan Cox
Original Paper

Abstract

The Great Salt Lake is separated into different salinity regimes by rail and vehicular causeways. Cyanobacterial distributions map salinity, with Aphanothece halophytica proliferating in the highly saline northern arm (27% saline), while Nodularia spumigena occurs in the less saline south (6–10%). We sought to test if cyanobacterial species abundant in the north are competitively excluded from the south, and if southern species are excluded by the high salinity of the north. Autoclaved samples from the north and south sides of each causeway were inoculated with water from each area. Aphanothece, Oscillatoria, Phormidium, and Nodularia were identified in the culture flasks using comparative differential interference contrast, fluorescence, and scanning electron microscopy. Aphanothece halophytica occurred in all inocula, but is suppressed in the presence of Nodularia spumigena. N. spumigena was found only in inocula from the less saline waters in the south, and apparently cannot survive the extremely hypersaline waters of the northern arm. These data suggest that both biotic and abiotic factors influence cyanobacterial distributions in the Great Salt Lake.

Keywords

Competitive exclusion Halophilic bacteria Aphanothece Nodularia Oscillatoria Phormidium Gause’s principle 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank J. Metcalf for assistance in cyanobacterial identification, J. Gardner for assistance in scanning electron microscopy, and B. Schaalje for assistance with biostatistics. We are grateful to the Wood Family Foundation for the Mus Views DIC/Fluorescent Microscopy Facility at the Institute for Ethnomedicine, and A. Fransiscana and R. Smithson for inspiration in our studies of the Great Salt Lake.

References

  1. Brock TD (1976) Halophilic blue-green algae. Arch Microbiol 107:109–111PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Butts DS (1980) Factors affecting the concentration of Great Salt Lake brines. In: Gwynn JW (ed) Great Salt Lake: a scientific, historical, and economic overview. Utah Geological and Mineral Survey, Salt Lake, pp 163–167Google Scholar
  3. Cox PA, Banack SA, Murch SJ, Rasmussen U, Tien G, Bidigare RR, Metcalf JS, Morrison LF, Codd GA (2005) Diverse taxa of cyanobacteria produce β-N-methylamino-l-alanine, a neurotoxic amino acid. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102(14):5074–5078PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cronberg G, Annadotter H (2006) Manual of aquatic cyanobacteria: a photo guide and a synopsis of their toxicology. International Society for the Study of Harmful Algae, Copenhagen, pp 1–106Google Scholar
  5. Dyer BD (2003) A field guide to bacteria. Cornell University Press, New York, pp 1–355Google Scholar
  6. Felix EA (1978) MS Thesis: the algal flora of the Great Salt Lake. Department of Botany and Range Science Brigham Young University, Provo, pp 1–37Google Scholar
  7. Felix EA, Rushforth SR (1980) Biology of the South arm of the Great Salt Lake, Utah. In: Gwynn JW (ed) Great Salt Lake: a scientific, historical, and economic overview. Utah Geological and Mineral Survey, Salt Lake, pp 305–312Google Scholar
  8. Gause GF (1969) The struggle for existence. Hafner, New York, pp 1–163Google Scholar
  9. Gwynn JW (2002) Great Salt Lake: an overview of change. Utah Dept. Natural Resources, Salt Lake, pp 1–584Google Scholar
  10. Hardin G (1960) The competitive exclusion principle. Science 131:1292–1297PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Herbst DB (1999) Biogeography and physiological adaptations of the brine fly genus Ephydra (Diptera: Ephydridae) in saline waters of the Great Basin. Great Basin Natur 59:127–135Google Scholar
  12. Marcarelli AM, Wurtsbaugh WA, Griset O (2006) Salinity controls phytoplankton to nutrient enrichment in the Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA. Canad J Fisheries Aquat Sci 63:2236–2248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Metcalf JS, Banack SA, Lindsay J, Morrison LF, Cox PA, Codd GA (2008) Co-occurrence of β-N-methylamino-l-alanine, a neurotoxic amino acid with other cyanobacterial toxins in British waterbodies, 1990–2004. Environ Microbiol 10(3):702–708PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nübel U, Garcia-Pichel F, Muyzer G (2000) The halotolerance and phylogeny of cyanobacteria with tightly coiled trichomes (Spirulina turpin) and the description of Halospirulina tapeticola gen. nov., sp. nov. Intl J Syst Evol Microbiol 50:1265–1277Google Scholar
  15. Oren A (2000) Salts and Brines. In: Whitton BA, Potts M (eds) The ecology of cyanobacteria. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 281–306Google Scholar
  16. Oren A (2002) Halophilic microrganisms and their environments. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 1–575Google Scholar
  17. Post FJ (1981) Microbiology of the Great Salt Lake north arm. Hydrobiol 81–82:59–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Roney H (2007) Competitive exclusion of cyanobacteria in the Great Salt Lake. Honors Thesis Brigham Young University, Provo, pp 1–36Google Scholar
  19. Rushforth SR, Felix EA (1982) Biotic adjustments to changing salinities in the Great Salt Lake, Utah. USA Microb Ecol 8:157–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Stephens DW, Gillespie DM (1976) Phytoplankton production in the Great Salt Lake, Utah, and a laboratory study of algal response to enrichment. Limnol Oceanog 21:74–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sturm PA (1980) The Great Salt Lake brine system. In: Gwynn JW (ed) Great Salt Lake: a scientific, historical, and economic overview. Utah Geological and Mineral Survey, Salt Lake, pp 147–162Google Scholar
  22. Utah Geological and Mineral Survey (1990) The Great Salt Lake information sheet. Utah Geol Surv Pub Inf Ser 8:1–2Google Scholar
  23. Williams WD (1998) Salinity as a determinant of the structure of biological communities in Salt Lakes. Hydrobiol 381:191–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zamir A, Azachi M, Bageshwar U, Fisher M, Gokhman I, Premkumar L, Sadka A, Savchenko T (2004) Molecular and functional adaptations underlying the exceptional salt tolerance of the alga Dunaliella salina. In: Ventosa A (ed) Halophilic microorganisms. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 165–176Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hillary C. Roney
    • 1
  • Gary M. Booth
    • 2
  • Paul Alan Cox
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for EthnomedicineJackson HoleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant and Wildlife ScienceBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

Personalised recommendations