Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 276–286 | Cite as

Bacterial Community Dynamics in a Seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) Meadow Sediment

  • Micaela García-Martínez
  • Arantxa López-López
  • María Ll. Calleja
  • Núria Marbà
  • Carlos M. Duarte


Some traits of the bacterial community dynamics associated to the rhizosphere of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica, growing in carbonate sediments, were analyzed during a 2-year period in an enclosed bay of the Balearic Islands. The diversity of the bacterial community was studied by the construction of 16S rDNA clone library. For testing temporal and vertical differences in the abundance of total cells and active Bacteria, we used 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Moreover, some relevant groups of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) were occasionally assessed by FISH. Despite the observed decrease in the total DAPI-stained cells, bacterial counts, and sulfate reduction rates throughout the sampling time, we found an increase in both the pore-water sulfide concentration and the proportion of SRB. Overall, the results revealed a very high bacterial diversity and indicated shifts in bacterial dynamics that could not be related to temperature-dependent factors, suggesting a link between the documented regression of the seagrass meadow and the decline of the microbial community, likely due to large organic matter inputs to the bay.


Bacterial dynamics Carbonate sediment Posidonia oceanica Sulfate-reducing bacteria FISH 



This study was funded by the projects: VEM2003-200075-C02-01 (Spanish Ministry of Education and Research) to R. Rosselló-Mora, 055/2002 (Spanish Ministry of Environment) to NM, and a project from the Fundación BBVA to CM. Duarte. We thank to R. Santiago, R. Martínez, and E. Álvarez for field assistance and to R. Rosselló-Mora for economical, logistical, and scientific support. We are indebted with members of the laboratory of Microbiology of the Balearic Islands University for logistical and scientific support, to the staff of Cabrera Archipiélago National Park for providing access to the study site and park facilities, and to JAER S.A. laboratories for their logistical support. We are grateful to Lázaro Marín-Guirao and to the members from the Department of Ocean Sciences (University of California) for helpful advices. M.G. and M.C were funded by grants from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Research and Spanish Research Council, respectively.


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Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Micaela García-Martínez
    • 1
  • Arantxa López-López
    • 1
  • María Ll. Calleja
    • 1
    • 2
  • Núria Marbà
    • 1
  • Carlos M. Duarte
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados(CSIC-UIB)EsporlesSpain
  2. 2.Department of Ocean SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA

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