Insights from single-strain and mixed culture experiments on the effects of heatwaves on freshwater flagellates

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Insights from single-strain and mixed culture experiments on the effects of heatwaves on freshwater flagellates

Authors

Boden, L.; Klagus, C.; Boenigk, J.

Abstract

The increasing frequency and intensity of heatwaves driven by climate change significantly impact microbial communities in freshwater habitats, particularly eukaryotic microorganisms. Heterotrophic nanoflagellates are important bacterivorous grazers and play a crucial role in aquatic food webs, influencing the morphological and taxonomic structure of bacterial communities. This study investigates the responses of three flagellate taxa to heatwave conditions through single-strain and mixed culture experiments, highlighting the impact of both biotic and abiotic factors on functional redundancy between morphologically similar protist species under thermal stress. Our results indicate that temperature can significantly impact growth and community composition. However, density-dependent factors also had a significant impact. In sum, stabilizing effects due to functional redundancy may be pronounced as long as density-dependent factors play a minor role and can be overshadowed when flagellate abundances increase.

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