Kegler, Hauke F., Hassenrück, Christiane, Kegler, Pia, Jennerjahn, Tim C. ORCID:, Lukman, Muhammad, Jompa, Jamaluddin and Gärdes, Astrid (2018) Small tropical islands with dense human population: differences in water quality of near-shore waters are associated with distinct bacterial communities. PeerJ, 6 . e4555. DOI

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Water quality deterioration caused by an enrichment in inorganic and organic matter due to anthropogenic inputs is one of the major local threats to coral reefs in Indonesia. However, even though bacteria are important mediators in coral reef ecosystems, little is known about the response of individual taxa and whole bacterial communities to these anthropogenic inputs. The present study is the first to investigate how bacterial community composition responds to small-scale changes in water quality in several coral reef habitats of the Spermonde Archipelago including the water column, particles, and back-reef sediments, on a densely populated and an uninhabited island. The main aims were to elucidate if (a) water quality indicators and organic matter concentrations differ between the uninhabited and the densely populated island of the archipelago, and (b) if there are differences in bacterial community composition in back-reef sediments and in the water column, which are associated with differences in water quality. Several key water quality parameters, such as inorganic nitrate and phosphate, chlorophyll a, and transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) were significantly higher at the inhabited than at the uninhabited island. Bacterial communities in sediments and particle-attached communities were significantly different between the two islands with bacterial taxa commonly associated with nutrient and organic matter-rich conditions occurring in higher proportions at the inhabited island. Within the individual reef habitats, variations in bacterial community composition between the islands were associated with differences in water quality. We also observed that copiotrophic, opportunistic bacterial taxa were enriched at the inhabited island with its higher chlorophyll a, dissolved organic carbon and TEP concentrations. Given the increasing strain on tropical coastal ecosystems, this study suggests that effluents from densely populated islands lacking sewage treatment can alter bacterial communities that may be important for coral reef ecosystem function.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Biogeochemistry and Geology > Ecological Biogeochemistry
Biogeochemistry and Geology > Tropical Marine Microbiology
Integrated Modelling > Spatial Ecology and Interactions
Social Sciences > Institutional and Behavioural Economics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
ISSN: 2167-8359
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 16:42
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 13:28

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