Small photosynthetic eukaryotes play important roles in oceanic food webs in coastal regions. We investigated seasonal changes in the communities of photosynthetic picoeukaryotes (PPEs) of the class Mamiellophyceae, including the genera Bathycoccus, Micromonas and Ostreococcus, in Ofunato Bay, which is located in northeastern Japan and faces the Pacific Ocean. The abundances of PPEs were assessed over a period of one year in 2015 at three sampling stations, KSt. 1 (innermost bay area), KSt. 2 (middle bay area) and KSt. 3 (bay entrance area) at depths of 1 m (KSt. 1, KSt. 2 and KSt. 3), 8 m (KSt. 1) or 10 m (KSt. 2 and KSt. 3) by employing MiSeq shotgun metagenomic sequencing. The total abundances of Bathycoccus, Ostreococcus and Micromonas were in the ranges of 42–49%, 35–49% and 13–17%, respectively. Considering all assayed sampling stations and depths, seasonal changes revealed high abundances of PPEs during the winter and summer and low abundances during late winter to early spring and late summer to early autumn. Bathycoccus was most abundant in the winter, and Ostreococcus showed a high abundance during the summer. Another genus, Micromonas, was relatively low in abundance throughout the study period. Taken together with previously suggested blooming periods of phytoplankton, as revealed by chlorophyll a concentrations in Ofunato Bay during spring and autumn, these results for PPEs suggest that greater phytoplankton blooming has a negative influence on the seasonal occurrences of PPEs in the bay.
- Ofunato Bay
- Photosynthetic picoeukaryotes
- Spring bloom
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