Wu, C., J. Kan, D.D. Narale, K. Liu, and J. Sun. 2021. Journal of Environmental Sciences, early online access.
Marine bacterial community plays a vital role in the formation of the hypoxia zone in coastal oceans. Yet, their dynamics in the seasonal hypoxia zone of the Bohai Sea (BHS) are barely studied. Here, the 16S rRNA gene-based high-throughput sequencing was used to explore the dynamics of their diversity, structure, and function as well as driving factors during the gradual deoxygenation process in the BHS. Our results evinced that the bacterial community was dominated by Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Cyanobacteria, etc. The abundant subcommunity dominated in the number of sequences (49%) while the rare subcommunity dominated in the number of species (99.61%). Although abundant subcommunity accounted for most sequences, rare subcommunity possessed higher diversity, richness and their population dramatically changed (higher turnover) during the hypoxia transition. Further, co-occurrence network analysis proved the vital role of rare subcommunity in the process of community assembly. Additionally, beta diversity partition revealed that both subcommunities possessed a higher turnover component than nestedness and/or richness component, implying species replacement could explain a considerable percentage of community variation. This variation might be governed by both environmental selection and stochastic processes, and further, it influenced the nitrogen cycle (PICRUSt-based prediction) of the hypoxia zone. Overall, this study provides insight into the spatial-temporal heterogeneity of bacterial and their vital role in biogeochemical cycles in the hypoxia zone of the BHS. These findings will extend our horizons about the stabilization mechanism, feedback regulation, and interactive model inside the bacterial community under oxygen-depleted ecosystems.