Molecular determination of diatom community dynamics in Onslow Bay, NC, and Monterey Bay, CA

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer L. Randolph (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site: http://library.uncw.edu/
Advisor
Bongkeun Song

Abstract: Diatoms are one of the major primary producers supporting food webs in the ocean. Their productivity could be linked to community composition. Temporal and spatial variation of diatom communities may correlate with nitrogen sources and availability. In order to understand the changes in diatom communities related to environmental variations, molecular tools targeting nitrate transporter genes in diatoms were developed and applied to examine diatom communities in Onslow Bay, North Carolina, and Monterey Bay, California. Cloning, sequencing and Distance-Based OTU and Richness (DOTUR) analyses were used to investigate patterns of diversity over time and space. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP), Cannonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) and simple linear regression analyses were conducted to compare community dynamics to variations in environmental parameters. In Onslow Bay, the composition of diatom communities was highly varied in different seasons and locations. Temperature differences appeared to influence the changes in diatom communities more than dissolved inorganic nitrogen. In Monterey Bay, temporal variation was higher in diatom communities as compared to depth profiles. Changes in temperature, silica, and nitrate appeared to influence the composition of diatom assemblages. This study demonstrated the potential usage of molecular tools to monitor diatom communities and to determine the environmental factors affecting the composition of diatom assemblages in nature. This will help to gain a better understanding of phytoplankton community dynamics in the oceans.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Masters of Science
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Biotic communities--California--Monterey Bay, Biotic communities--North Carolina--Onslow Bay
Subjects
Biotic communities -- North Carolina -- Onslow Bay
Biotic communities -- California -- Monterey Bay