TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL TRENDS IN MICROBIAL ABUNDANCE AND VIRAL COMMUNITY COMPOSITION IN A LOTIC ECOSYSTEM
While the ecological roles and impacts of viruses are relatively well understood in marine ecosystems, the same cannot be said for freshwater lotic ecosystems. This study characterized temporal and spatial changes in viral and bacterial abundance and viral community composition in a freshwater stream in southeastern Virginia over one annual cycle. Monthly samples were collected from three stream reaches for water chemistry and microbiological analysis. Epifluorescence microscopy was used to analyze bacterial and viral abundance, and RAPD-PCR was used to characterize differences in viral community composition between samples based on time and location. Although no clear spatial trends were found, seasonal trends were observed in both viral and bacterial abundances, and viral abundance typically exceeded bacterial abundance by a factor of 10, as observed in other aquatic systems. Analysis of viral community composition suggested a stochastic assembly that may depend on multiple seasonal and environmental factors.
Abigail Davidson (Primary Presenter/Author), College of William and Mary, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Alexandra Payne (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), College of William and Mary, email@example.com;
Kurt Williamson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), College of William and Mary, firstname.lastname@example.org;