Marine phytoplankton blooms are annual spring events that sustain active and diverse bloom-associated bacterial populations. Blooms vary considerably in terms of eukaryotic species composition and environmental conditions, but a limited number of heterotrophic bacterial lineages — primarily members of the Flavobacteriia, Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria — dominate these communities. In this Review, we discuss the central role that these bacteria have in transforming phytoplankton-derived organic matter and thus in biogeochemical nutrient cycling. On the basis of selected field and laboratory-based studies of flavobacteria and roseobacters, distinct metabolic strategies are emerging for these archetypal phytoplankton-associated taxa, which provide insights into the underlying mechanisms that dictate their behaviours during blooms.
At a glance
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