High Predictability of the Seasonal Dynamics of a Species-Like Polynucleobacter Population in a Freshwater Lake

Environ Microbiol. 2006 Sep;8(9):1660-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2006.01049.x.


One of the key questions in microbial ecology is if seasonal patterns of bacterial community composition (BCC) observed in one year repeat in the following years. We have investigated if the recorded annual dynamics of a species-like Polynucleobacter (subcluster PnecB) population allowed the prediction of the population dynamics in another year. The abundance of PnecB bacteria in the pelagic of temperate Lake Mondsee was investigated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) over three consecutive years. The PnecB bacteria formed a persistent population, and were present in the entire water body of the lake. Two of the three investigated years differed strongly in summer temperatures and precipitation, which resulted in markedly different growth conditions. But despite of these different environmental conditions, the PnecB population demonstrated remarkably similar seasonal dynamics in the three investigated years. Water temperature was the best predictor of the population dynamics during the first half of the annual cycles. Statistical analysis also indicated influences of phytoplankton and metazooplankton successions on the PnecB population dynamics. Furthermore, 65 lakes and ponds were investigated for the presence of PnecB bacteria. They were detected in the majority (78%) of circum-neutral and alkaline freshwater habitats, but not in any investigated acidic or saline habitat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Austria
  • Burkholderiaceae / growth & development*
  • Burkholderiaceae / physiology
  • Chlorophyll / chemistry
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Fresh Water / microbiology*
  • Seasons*
  • Temperature


  • Chlorophyll