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PROCARDYA

Microcosms used during the degradation experiment for the PROCARDYA project

Role and diversity of planktonic prokaryotes in macroalgae degradation

Team 6: Source and transfer of organic matter in aquatic ecosystems
2013 to 2014
Program type: 
National/Regional

Planktonic prokaryotes are a key link in the transfer of organic matter (OM) in oceanic planktonic food webs and determine in part its transfer to the benthic realm. In return, the structure of prokaryotic communities appears to be directly related to the nature and bioavailability of OM, since it has been shown that certain phylotypes are specifically involved in the degradation of certain organic compounds, of different quality and origin. Coastal marine environments are characterized by a great diversity of primary producers. Among them, macroalgae significantly contribute to the formation of the OM pool and are therefore likely to be a major energy source in the pelagic and benthic food webs. In this context, the main objective of the project is to determine, in microcosm experiments, the role of planktonic prokaryotes in the degradation of macroalgae. The changes in their abundances, their enzymatic activities involved in OM degradation and in their assemblages structure were followed over time. These changes will be related to the origin and quality of the OM pool.

Project funded by: ATM “Microorganisms, key players in ecosytsems”, from Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris