19 Apr 2022
19 Apr 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Diversity and assembly processes of microeukaryotic community in Fildes Peninsula Lakes (West Antarctica)

Chunmei Zhang1,2, Huirong Li1,3,4, Yinxin Zeng1,3,4, Haitao Ding1,3,4, Bin Wang5, Yangjie Li5, Zhongqiang Ji5, Yonghong Bi2, and Wei Luo1,3,4 Chunmei Zhang et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory for Polar Science, Polar Research Institute of China, Ministry of Natural Resources, Shanghai 200136, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
  • 3Antarctic Great Wall Ecology National Observation and Research Station, Polar Research Institute of China, Ministry of Natural Resources, Shanghai 200136, China
  • 4School of Oceanography, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
  • 5Key Laboratory of Marine Ecosystem Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou 310012, China

Abstract. The diversity, co-occurrence patterns, and assembly processes of microeukaryotes in Antarctic freshwater lakes are not well understood, despite its wide distribution and ecological importance. This study used Illumina high-throughput sequencing to explore five freshwater lakes' microeukaryotic communities on the Fildes Peninsula during three summer seasons. A total of 33 phyla were detected, with the phytoplankton occupying the highest percentage of sequences (accounting for up to 98 %). Meanwhile, the main dominant taxa were Chrysophyta, Chlorophyta, and Cryptophyta. Alpha diversity varied among lakes, with Changhu (CH), Kitec (KT) lake having higher values, and Yue Ya (YY) lake having the lowest value. There were significant differences in microeukaryotic communities between lakes, with spatial and temporal variation in the relative abundance of dominant taxa (P<0.05). Environmental variables only explained about 30 % of the variation in community structure. In the co-occurrence network, microeukaryotes tended to be more symbiotic than competitive with each other (positive correlation 82 % vs. negative correlation 18 %), with only 8 % of OTUs significantly associated with environmental factors. The neutral community model found that neutral processes explained more than 56 % of the community variation. The stochastic processes (e.g., homogenizing dispersal and undominated process) predominated in community assembly than the deterministic processes. These findings revealed the diversity of the microeukaryotic community and have important implications for understanding the community assembly in the freshwater lakes of the Fildes Peninsula (Antarctica).

Chunmei Zhang et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2022-75', Shoubing Wang, 17 May 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Yonghong Bi, 15 Jun 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2022-75', Anonymous Referee #2, 23 May 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Yonghong Bi, 15 Jun 2022

Chunmei Zhang et al.

Chunmei Zhang et al.


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Short summary
The unique community composition and lower diversity of microeukaryotes in Fildes Peninsula Lakes (West Antarctica) were revealed. Low correlation to environmental variables and prominent symbiotic relationships in co-occurrence patterns were observed. Stochastic processes played dominant roles in the community assembly. This study highlighted the first time the importance of stochastic processes and co-occurrence patterns in shaping the microeukaryotic community of this area.