Weak influence of paleoenvironmental conditions on the subsurface biosphere of Lake Ohrid in the last 515 ka

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 1 of this Preprint.


Download Preprint

Supplementary Files

Camille Thomas , Alexander Francke, Hendrik Vogel , Bernd Wagner, Daniel Ariztegui 


Lacustrine sediments are widely used to investigate the impact of climatic change on biogeochemical cycling. In these sediments, subsurface microbial communities are major actors of this cycling but can also affect the sedimentary record and overprint the original paleoenvironmental signal. We therefore investigated the subsurface microbial communities of the oldest lake in Europe, Lake Ohrid (North Macedonia, Albania), to assess the potential connection between microbial diversity and past environmental change using 16S rRNA gene sequences.
Along the upper ca. 200 m of the DEEP site record spanning ca. 515 ka, our results show that Atribacteria, Bathyarchaeia a and Gammaproteobacteria structured the community independently from each other. Except for the latter, these phyla are common in deep lacustrine and marine sediments due to their metabolic versatility adapted to low energy environments. Gammaproteobacteria were often co-occurring with cyanobacterial sequences or soil-related OTUs suggesting preservation of ancient DNA from the water column or catchment back to at least 340 ka, particularly in dry glacial intervals. We found significant environmental parameters influencing the overall microbial community distribution, but no strong relationship with given phylotypes and paleoclimatic signals or sediment age. Our results support a weak recording of early diagenetic processes and their actors by bulk prokaryotic sedimentary DNA in Lake Ohrid, replaced by specialized low-energy clades of the deep biosphere and a marked imprint of erosional processes on the subsurface DNA pool of Lake Ohrid.




Life Sciences


deep biosphere, Glacial stages


Published: 2020-10-21 16:33

Last Updated: 2020-10-21 23:33


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Conflict of interest statement:

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.