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Insights into biotic and abiotic modulation of ocean mesopelagic communities

Nicolas Henry
Karine Labadie
Julie Poulain
Daniele Iudicone
Olivier Jaillon


Marine plankton mitigate anthropogenic greenhouse gases, modulate biogeochemical cycles, and provide fishery resources. Plankton is distributed across a stratified ecosystem of sunlit surface waters and a vast, though understudied, mesopelagic ‘dark ocean’. In this study, we mapped viruses, prokaryotes, and pico-eukaryotes across 32 globally-distributed cross-depth samples collected during the Tara Oceans Expedition, and assessed their ecologies. Based on depth and O 2 measurements, we divided the marine habitat into epipelagic, oxic mesopelagic, and oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) eco-regions. We identified specific communities associated with each marine habitat, and pinpoint environmental drivers of dark ocean communities. Our results indicate that water masses primarily control mesopelagic community composition. Through co-occurrence network inference and analysis, we identified signature communities strongly associated with OMZ eco-regions. Mesopelagic communities appear to be constrained by a combination of factors compared to epipelagic communities. Thus, variations in a given abiotic factor may cause different responses in sunlit and dark ocean communities. This study expands our knowledge about the ecology of planktonic organisms inhabiting the mesopelagic zone.
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hal-03166899 , version 1 (16-11-2022)



Janaina Rigonato, Marko Budinich, Alejandro Murillo, Manoela Brandão, Juan Karlusich, et al.. Insights into biotic and abiotic modulation of ocean mesopelagic communities. 2022. ⟨hal-03166899⟩
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