Air mass source determines airborne microbial diversity at the ocean–atmosphere interface of the Great Barrier Reef marine ecosystem

Stephen D J Archer, Kevin C Lee, Tancredi Caruso, Katie King-Miaow, Mike Harvey, Danwei Huang, Benjamin J Wainwright, Stephen B Pointing*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The atmosphere is the least understood biome on Earth despite its critical role as a microbial transport medium. The influence of surface cover on composition of airborne microbial communities above marine systems is unclear. Here we report evidence for a dynamic microbial presence at the ocean–atmosphere interface of a major marine ecosystem, the Great Barrier Reef, and identify that recent air mass trajectory over an oceanic or continental surface associated with observed shifts in airborne bacterial and fungal diversity. Relative abundance of shared taxa between air and coral microbiomes varied between 2.2 and 8.8% and included those identified as part of the core coral microbiome. We propose that this variable source of atmospheric inputs may in part contribute to the diverse and transient nature of the coral microbiome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-876
Number of pages6
JournalThe ISME Journal
Volume14
Issue number3
Early online date21 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2020

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