Picoplankton function and diversity along Northern Adriatic trophic gradients (PICOADRIF)
Maintenance and preservation of high quality water resources and biological diversity directly having an effect on tourism, fisheries and aquaculture are major tools of socio-economic improvement of the Croatian coastal management. The numerous frontal zones formed in the Istrian coastal area under influence of natural (winds, tides, geomorphologic features) or man-made forcing (discharges carrying industrial or urban pollutants) play a key role in the functioning and resilience of the Adriatic Sea ecosystem. The study area encompasses two oligotrophic and two eutrophic localities off the Rovinj coast.
We followed quantitative changes in picoplankton community (enumeration of heterotrophic bacteria, picoeukariotes and cyanobacteria, Flow Cytometry), as well as structural (16S rDNA, DGGE) and physiological (fatty acids, GC/MS) dynamics between producers and consumers fraction. This research was designed in order to gain an insight into capacity of the microbial communities towards a variable and increasing organic load.
Integration of the classical methods and biomarker approach will enable a more comprehensive evaluation of the diversity and functioning of the microbial food web under the influence of environment’s changeability, and a better understanding of complex changes occurring at the community-level, and ecosystem as a whole.
- Project leader / principal investigator