Sediment features may play a major role in determining benthic bacterial community structure. In this study, sediment samples were collected on four dates over the course of a year from a Northeast Ohio stream and fractionated into different particle size classes. Abundance of bacteria of various taxa on differentially sized sediment fractions was determined using fluorescent in situ hybridization which relies on taxon-specific oligonucleotide probes that hybridize to rRNA in intact cells. The differences among the size classes were generally small in comparison to the large seasonal changes observed. These seasonal changes differed greatly among taxa; for some, peaks in the number of cells hybridizing a particular probe were in the spring (Domain Bacteria, α-Proteobacteria), while others peaked in the summer/fall (γ-Proteobacteria and the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium). At the species level, the abundances of Burkholderia cepacia and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus were highest in the summer on sediments of all sizes. Seasonal differences appeared to be more of a factor driving community differences than sediment particle size.
Santmire, Judy A.; Leff, Laura Gunn (2007). The Influence of Stream Sediment Particle Size on Bacterial Abundance and Community Composition. Aquatic Ecology 41(2) 153-160. doi: 10.1007/s10452-006-9060-4. Retrieved from https://oaks.kent.edu/bscipubs/85