Microbial Ecology

, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 324–335 | Cite as

Biogeography and Diversity of Freshwater Bacteria on a River Catchment Scale

  • Jie Liu
  • Teng Tu
  • Guanghai Gao
  • Mark Bartlam
  • Yingying WangEmail author
Microbiology of Aquatic Systems


To illustrate how freshwater bacterial community changes with geographic gradient, we investigated the spatial changes of bacterial abundance and community structures from over 200 samples on a catchment scale in the Songhua River using heterotrophic plate counts, flow cytometry, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and pyrosequencing analysis. The results showed that the mainstream had higher cultivable bacteria and total bacterial concentration than tributaries in the Songhua River catchment. Response model analysis demonstrated that the bacterial community exhibits a biogeographical signature even in an interconnected river network system, and the total bacterial concentration and biodiversity were significantly correlated to latitude (p < 0.001) and longitude (p < 0.001). Multivariate redundancy analysis indicated that temperature was the most important factor driving bacterial community structure in the Songhua River, which accounts for 35.30% variance of communities, then dissolved oxygen (17.60%), latitude (17.60%), longitude (11.80%), and pH (5.88%). High-throughput pyrosequencing revealed that at the phylum level, Proteobacteria was numerically dominant (89.6%) in river catchment, followed by Bacteroidetes (8.1%) and Cyanobacteria (1.2%). The overall results revealed that the bacterial community was driven by geographical distance regardless of the continuum of the river on a catchment scale.


Biodiversity Freshwater bacteria Biogeography High-throughput sequencing 



This work was supported by National Key Basic Research Development Program [grant number 2015CB459000], Chinese National Science Foundation [grant numbers 31670498 and 31322012], China Postdoctoral Science Foundation [grant number 2016M591190], and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities. We thank Prof. Zhou Qixing and Dr. Sun Xiaoyin for their kind help in sampling and physico-chemical analysis of the water samples.

Supplementary material

248_2019_1323_MOESM1_ESM.docx (232 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 231 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jie Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Teng Tu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Guanghai Gao
    • 1
  • Mark Bartlam
    • 4
  • Yingying Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria (Ministry of Education), College of Environmental Science and EngineeringNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Graduate School at ShenzhenTsinghua UniversityShenzhenChina
  3. 3.Center for Earth Environment and ResourcesSun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology & College of Life SciencesNankai UniversityTianjinChina

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