Bacterial Community Spatial and Temporal Variation in a North Temperate Bog Lake
Bog lakes such as Mary Lake in northern Wisconsin are ideal systems to investigate microbial communities due to easily identified spatial boundaries and well characterized seasonal ecosystem dynamics. Multiple factors are thought to influence the bacterial communities within the lake, and our goal in this study was to analyze the spatial and temporal factors causing the variations between these populations. Molecular techniques and statistical analyses were performed to gain insight into which differences caused the greatest variability. The bacterial communities were analyzed based on conserved 16S ribosomal RNA sequences as well as on short base pair sequence reads obtained from a time series in 2009 in order to determine whether the bacterial community was more variable in space or in time. We found that while the upper and lower thermal layers of the bog were composed of similar microbial communities, these communities had different temporal patterns throughout the time series.