The bacterioneuston is the community of Bacteria present in surface microlayers, the\ud thin surface film that forms the interface between aquatic environments and the\ud atmosphere. In this study we compared bacterial cell abundance and bacterial\ud community structure of the bacterioneuston and the bacterioplankton (from the\ud subsurface water column) during a phytoplankton bloom mesocosm experiment.\ud Bacterial cell abundance, determined by flow cytometry, followed a typical\ud bacterioplankton response to a phytoplankton bloom, with Synechococcus and high\ud nucleic acid (HNA) bacterial cell numbers initially falling, probably due to selective\ud protist grazing. Subsequently HNA and low nucleic acid (LNA) bacterial cells\ud increased in abundance but Synechococcus did not. There was no significant\ud difference between bacterioneuston and bacterioplankton cell abundances during the\ud experiment. Conversely, distinct and consistent differences between the\ud bacterioneuston and the bacterioplankton community structure were observed. This\ud was monitored simultaneously by Bacteria 16S rRNA gene terminal restriction\ud fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis\ud (DGGE). The conserved patterns of community structure observed in all of the\ud mesocosms indicate that the bacterioneuston is distinctive and non-random
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