Microbial biogeography of arctic streams: exploring influences of lithology and habitat

Julia R. Larouche, William B. Bowden, Rosanna Giordano, Michael B. Flinn, Byron C. Crump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and 16S rRNA gene sequencing were used to explore the community composition of bacterial communities in biofilms on sediments (epipssamon) and rocks (epilithon) in stream reaches that drain watersheds with contrasting lithologies in the Noatak National Preserve, Alaska. Bacterial community composition varied primarily by stream habitat and secondarily by lithology. Positive correlations were detected between bacterial community structure and nutrients, base cations, and dissolved organic carbon. Our results showed significant differences at the stream habitat, between epipssamon and epilithon bacterial communities, which we expected. Our results also showed significant differences at the landscape scale that could be related to different lithologies and associated stream biogeochemistry. These results provide insight into the bacterial community composition of little known and pristine arctic stream ecosystems and illustrate how differences in the lithology, soils, and vegetation community of the terrestrial environment interact to influence stream bacterial taxonomic richness and composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1--9
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberAUG
StatePublished - 2012


  • INHS
  • Arctic streams
  • Lithology
  • Microbial community composition
  • T-RFLP
  • 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing
  • Bacterial community composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology


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