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Bacterial diversity is strongly associated with historical penguin activity in an Antarctic lake sediment profile
Zhu, R.; Shi, Y.; Ma, D.; Wang, C.; Hu, H.; Chu, H. (2015). Bacterial diversity is strongly associated with historical penguin activity in an Antarctic lake sediment profile. NPG Scientific Reports 5(17231): 13 pp. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep17231
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, meer
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  • Zhu, R.
  • Shi, Y.
  • Ma, D.
  • Wang, C.
  • Hu, H.
  • Chu, H.

Abstract
    Current penguin activity in Antarctica affects the geochemistry of sediments and their microbial communities; the effects of historical penguin activity are less well understood. Here, bacterial diversity in ornithogenic sediment was investigated using high-throughput pyrosequencing. The relative abundances of dominant phyla were controlled by the amount of historical penguin guano deposition. Significant positive correlations were found between both the bacterial richness and diversity, and the relative penguin number (p < 0.01); this indicated that historical penguin activity drove the vertical distribution of the bacterial communities. The lowest relative abundances of individual phyla corresponded to lowest number of penguin population at 1,800-2,300 yr BP during a drier and colder period; the opposite was observed during a moister and warmer climate (1,400-1,800 yr BP). This study shows that changes in the climate over millennia affected penguin populations and the outcomes of these changes affect the sediment bacterial community today.

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