Biodiversity patterns of plankton assemblages at the extremes of the Red Sea

John K. Pearman, Saskia Kurten, Sarma B. Yellepeddi, Burton Jones, Susana Carvalho

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28 Scopus citations


The diversity of microbial plankton has received limited attention in the main basin of the Red Sea. This study investigates changes in the community composition and structure of prokaryotes and eukaryotes at the extremes of the Red Sea along cross-shelf gradients and between the surface and deep chlorophyll maximum. Using molecular methods to target both the 16S and 18S rRNA genes, it was observed that the dominant prokaryotic classes were Acidimicrobiia, Alphaproteobacteria and Cyanobacteria, regardless of the region and depth. The eukaryotes Syndiniophyceae and Dinophyceae between them dominated in the north, with Bacillariophyceae and Mamiellophyceae more prominent in the southern region. Significant differences were observed for prokaryotes and eukaryotes for region, depth and distance from shore. Similarly, it was noticed that communities became less similar with increasing distance from the shore. Canonical correspondence analysis at the class level showed that Mamiellophyceae and Bacillariophyceae correlated with increased nutrients and chlorophyll a found in the southern region, which is influenced by the input of Gulf of Aden Intermediate Water.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)fiw002
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 5 2016


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