Skip to main content

Amplicon sequence variant tables of Donax gouldii microbiomes from Scripps Pier, La Jolla, CA, USA

Cite this dataset

Neu, Alexander (2021). Amplicon sequence variant tables of Donax gouldii microbiomes from Scripps Pier, La Jolla, CA, USA [Dataset]. Dryad.


Predicting how populations and communities of organisms will respond to anthropogenic change is of paramount concern in ecology today. For communities of microorganisms, however, these predictions remain challenging, primarily due to data limitations. Information about long-term dynamics of host-associated microbial communities, in particular, are lacking. In this study, we use well-preserved and freshly collected samples of soft tissue from a marine bivalve host, Donax gouldii, at a single site to quantify the diversity and composition of its microbiome over a decadal timescale. Site-level measurements of temperature, salinity and chlorophyll a allowed us to test how the microbiome of this species responded to two natural experiments – a seasonal increase in temperature and a phytoplankton bloom. Our results show that ethanol-preserved tissue can provide high-resolution information about temporal trends in compositions of host-associated microbial communities. Specifically, we found that the richness of amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) associated with D. gouldii did not change significantly over time despite increases in water temperature (+1.6°C due to seasonal change) and chlorophyll a concentration (more than nine-fold). The phylogenetic composition of the communities, on the other hand, varied significantly between all collection years, with only six ASVs persisting over our sampling period. Overall, these results suggest that the diversity of microbial taxa associated with D. gouldii has remained stable over time and in response to seasonal environmental change over the course of more than a decade, but such stability is underlain by substantial turnover in the composition of the microbiome.