Potential for atmospheric deposition of bacteria to influence bacterioplankton communities

Authors

  • Stuart E. Jones,

    1. Limnology and Marine Sciences Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
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  • Ryan J. Newton,

    1. Microbial Doctoral Training Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Katherine D. McMahon

    1. Limnology and Marine Sciences Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
    2. Microbial Doctoral Training Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
    3. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Editor: Riks Laanbroek

Correspondence: Katherine D. McMahon, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, WI 53706. Tel.: +1 608 263 3137; fax: +1 608 262 5199; e-mail: tmcmahon@engr.wisc.edu

Abstract

Biogeographic patterns in microbial communities are an exciting but controversial topic in microbial ecology. Advances in theory pertaining to assembly of microbial communities have made strong assumptions about dispersal of bacteria without exploration. For this reason, we investigated rates of atmospheric bacterial deposition and compared the taxonomic composition of bacteria in rain with that of common freshwater bacterial communities. Our findings suggest that it is not appropriate to take for granted that atmospheric deposition of bacteria is a significant vector of immigration to freshwater ecosystems.

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