SALINIZATION IMPACTS ON HISTORICALLY FRESHWATER AQUATIC COMMUNITIES
The amount of carbon stored and released from freshwater wetland sediments play an important role in greenhouse gas exchange, and climate change can substantially impact wetland ecosystem structure and function. In recent years, historically freshwater wetlands have been exposed to saline conditions as a result of saltwater influx due to sea level rise. To determine how salinity influences microbial community composition, diversity, and carbon cycling functions, we used a mesocosm experiment to examine freshwater microbial response to the influx of saltwater aquatic communities and increased salinization. Previous research, using a mesocosm approach, concluded that salinity reduced zooplankton diversity structure and decreased decomposition. Further, salinity and dispersal of saline aquatic communities influenced bacterioplankton community structure, examined using barcoded amplicon sequencing of the total bacterial community. Species interactions between bacterial and zooplankton taxa were dependent on salinity, and the influence of saline aquatic communities. Our study provides the opportunity to experimentally test how historically freshwater aquatic communities will respond to salinization associated with sea level rise.
Alexandra Stucy (Primary Presenter/Author, Co-Presenter/Co-Author), East Carolina University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Michael McCoy ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), East Carolina University, email@example.com;
Ariane Peralta ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), East Carolina University, firstname.lastname@example.org;