Spatial Distribution of Eukaryotic Communities Using High-Throughput Sequencing Along a Pollution Gradient in the Arsenic-Rich Creek Sediments of Carnoulès Mine, France
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Microscopic eukaryotes play a key role in ecosystem functioning, but their diversity remains largely unexplored in most environments. To advance our knowledge of eukaryotic microorganisms and the factors that structure their communities, high-throughput sequencing was used to characterize their diversity and spatial distribution along the pollution gradient of the acid mine drainage at Carnoulès (France). A total of 16,510 reads were retrieved leading to the identification of 323 OTUs after normalization. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a quite diverse eukaryotic community characterized by a total of eight high-level lineages including 37 classes. The majority of sequences were clustered in four main groups: Fungi, Stramenopiles, Alveolata and Viridiplantae. The Reigous sediments formed a succession of distinct ecosystems hosting contrasted eukaryotic communities whose structure appeared to be at least partially correlated with sediment mineralogy. The concentration of arsenic in the sediment was shown to be a significant factor driving the eukaryotic community structure along this continuum.
KeywordsEukaryotic diversity Community spatial dynamics Acid mine drainage Arsenic
The study was financed by the “Observatoire de Recherche Méditerranéen en Environnement” (OSU-OREME). Aurélie Volant was supported by a grant from the French Ministry of Education and Research.
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