One of the main requirements of any sound biological monitoring is the availability of long term and, possibly, temporal data with a high resolution. This is often difficult to be achieved, especially in Antarctica, due to a variety of logistic constraints, which make continuous sampling and monitoring activities generally unfeasible. Here we focus on the 5 μm filters used in the desalination plant of the Italian research base “Mario Zucchelli” in the Terra Nova Bay area (Ross Sea, Antarctica) to evaluate intra-annual coastal nanoplankton dynamics. These filters, together with others of larger mesh sizes, are used to decrease the amount of organisms and debris in the input seawater before the desalination processes take place, hence automatically collect the plankton present in the water column around the desalination system intake. We have used a DNA metabarcoding approach to characterize the communities retained by filters' sets collected in January 2012 and 2013. Intra-annual dynamics were disclosed with an unprecedented detail, that would not have been possible by using standard sampling approaches, and highlighted the importance of extreme, stochastic events such as katabatic wind pulses, which triggered dramatic, short-term shifts in coastal nanoplankton composition. This method, by combining a cost-effective sampling and molecular techniques, may represent a viable solution for long-term monitoring programs focusing on Antarctic coastal communities.

Antarctic coastal nanoplankton dynamics revealed by metabarcoding of desalination plant filters: Detection of short-term events and implications for routine monitoring

Cecchetto M.;Di Cesare A.;Vezzulli L.;Schiaparelli S.
2020

Abstract

One of the main requirements of any sound biological monitoring is the availability of long term and, possibly, temporal data with a high resolution. This is often difficult to be achieved, especially in Antarctica, due to a variety of logistic constraints, which make continuous sampling and monitoring activities generally unfeasible. Here we focus on the 5 μm filters used in the desalination plant of the Italian research base “Mario Zucchelli” in the Terra Nova Bay area (Ross Sea, Antarctica) to evaluate intra-annual coastal nanoplankton dynamics. These filters, together with others of larger mesh sizes, are used to decrease the amount of organisms and debris in the input seawater before the desalination processes take place, hence automatically collect the plankton present in the water column around the desalination system intake. We have used a DNA metabarcoding approach to characterize the communities retained by filters' sets collected in January 2012 and 2013. Intra-annual dynamics were disclosed with an unprecedented detail, that would not have been possible by using standard sampling approaches, and highlighted the importance of extreme, stochastic events such as katabatic wind pulses, which triggered dramatic, short-term shifts in coastal nanoplankton composition. This method, by combining a cost-effective sampling and molecular techniques, may represent a viable solution for long-term monitoring programs focusing on Antarctic coastal communities.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1068523
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