Proposed Abstract Title

Hakai Institute’s Oceanographic Program: Monitoring microbes in the northern Strait of Georgia

Type of Presentation

Poster

Session Title

Changes in Ecosystem Function and Climate Revealed by Long-term Monitoring in the Salish Sea

Location

2016SSEC

Description

In October 2014, Hakai Institute launched a high resolution long-term oceanographic program in the northern Strait of Georgia, based out of its Quadra Research Station. This program monitors key physical, chemical and biological variables with the aim to provide improved understanding of the structure and functioning of the local ecosystems, their seasonal and interannual cycles, and response to environmental change. Bacteria and archaea comprise an important component of the marine food web, providing important ecosystem services ranging from carbon remineralization and nutrient regeneration to carbon fixation. Given their short generation times, they are also poised to be sentinels of environmental changes. While many studies of marine microbial ecology assess community dynamics on monthly time scales, few examine changes in microbial community structure on a weekly basis for extended periods of time. As part of the Quadra Ocean Monitoring program we are using high-throughput Illumina amplicon sequencing to monitor marine microbial community structure weekly in an effort to better understand how microbial populations vary over both short and long timescales and how quickly they respond to environmental perturbations. After 6 months of sampling, our data show that the deep bacterial and archaeal populations are relatively stable over time, while the shallow (m) microbial populations show significant variation during spring and summer months. By combining our compositional data with ocean chemical and physical data and other biological variables (e.g. phytoplankton biomass and composition, zooplankton composition), we expect to describe the key factors in contributing to rapid changes in observed in surface bacterial and archaeal communities in the Northern Strait of Georgia.

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Hakai Institute’s Oceanographic Program: Monitoring microbes in the northern Strait of Georgia

2016SSEC

In October 2014, Hakai Institute launched a high resolution long-term oceanographic program in the northern Strait of Georgia, based out of its Quadra Research Station. This program monitors key physical, chemical and biological variables with the aim to provide improved understanding of the structure and functioning of the local ecosystems, their seasonal and interannual cycles, and response to environmental change. Bacteria and archaea comprise an important component of the marine food web, providing important ecosystem services ranging from carbon remineralization and nutrient regeneration to carbon fixation. Given their short generation times, they are also poised to be sentinels of environmental changes. While many studies of marine microbial ecology assess community dynamics on monthly time scales, few examine changes in microbial community structure on a weekly basis for extended periods of time. As part of the Quadra Ocean Monitoring program we are using high-throughput Illumina amplicon sequencing to monitor marine microbial community structure weekly in an effort to better understand how microbial populations vary over both short and long timescales and how quickly they respond to environmental perturbations. After 6 months of sampling, our data show that the deep bacterial and archaeal populations are relatively stable over time, while the shallow (m) microbial populations show significant variation during spring and summer months. By combining our compositional data with ocean chemical and physical data and other biological variables (e.g. phytoplankton biomass and composition, zooplankton composition), we expect to describe the key factors in contributing to rapid changes in observed in surface bacterial and archaeal communities in the Northern Strait of Georgia.