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In the right place, at the right time: the integration of bacteria into the Plankton Ecology Group model

Cite this dataset

Park, Hongjae et al. (2022). In the right place, at the right time: the integration of bacteria into the Plankton Ecology Group model [Dataset]. Dryad.



Planktonic microbial communities have critical impacts on the pelagic food web and water quality status in freshwater ecosystems, yet no general model of bacterial community assembly linked to higher trophic levels and hydrodynamics has been assessed. In this study, we utilized a two-year survey of planktonic communities from bacteria to zooplankton on three freshwater reservoirs to investigate their spatiotemporal dynamics.


We observed the site-specific presence and microdiversification of bacteria in lacustrine and riverine environments, as well as in deep hypolimnia. Moreover, we determined recurrent bacterial seasonal patterns driven by both biotic and abiotic conditions, which could be integrated into the well-known Phytoplankton Ecology Group (PEG) model describing primarily the seasonalities of larger plankton groups. Importantly, bacteria with different ecological potentials showed finely coordinated successions affiliated with four seasonal phases, including the spring bloom dominated by fast-growing opportunists, the clear-water phase associated with oligotrophic ultramicrobacteria, the summer phase characterized by phytoplankton bloom-associated bacteria, and the fall/winter phase driven by decay-specialists.  


Our findings elucidate the principles driving the spatiotemporal microbial community distribution in freshwater ecosystems. We suggest an extension to the original PEG model by integrating recurrent bacterial seasonal trends.


Ministry of Education Youth and Sports, Award: CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_025/0007417

Czech Science Foundation, Award: 19-00113S

Czech Science Foundation, Award: 19-23469S

Czech Science Foundation, Award: 20-12496X

Czech Science Foundation, Award: 22-33245S