Effects of environmental parameters on spatial and temporal distribution of marine microbial communities in the southern Black Sea

Mar Environ Res. 2024 Mar:195:106344. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2024.106344. Epub 2024 Jan 8.


The Black Sea is a unique environment with strong and permanent vertical stratification, with a thin layer of oxic zone above and a permanent anoxic zone below. Few high-throughput genomic surveys have been conducted to examine microbiota in the Black Sea. Yet, there is no study on the seasonal and vertical variation in microbial community compositions, driving forces and mechanisms of community assembly. In this study, seasonal, vertical, and spatial microbial assemblages were studied in terms of diversity, abundance, and community structure using 16S rRNA metabarcoding. 16S rRNA metabarcoding confirmed seasonal changes in microbial communities and the presence of distinct microbial groups among different water layers. Taxa belonging to Cyanobiaceae contributed a large fraction of the total biomass and were the most abundant autotrophic bacteria found across the whole water column, including hydrogen sulfide-containing anoxic zone. Temperature, salinity, water density, conductivity, light, chlorophyll-a, O2, NO3, NH3, PO4, Si, and H2S had a significant influence on the vertical bacterial community assemblages. The copper mine discharge system at 180 m did not affect microbial community structure and composition. Temperature seemed to be a primary factor in the variance between shallow depths. In conclusion, the lack of light, low dissolved oxygen levels, and low temperature do not restrict microbial diversity, as proven by the higher diversity observed in deeper zones. Wastewater in Black Sea region may be discharged into the Black Sea to depth of 180 m or deeper without impacting microbial ecology.

Keywords: 16S rRNA; ASV; Microbial community; Microbial diversity; eDNA.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Black Sea
  • Microbiota*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Seawater* / chemistry
  • Water


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Water