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Microbial ecology of the salmon necrobiome: evidence salmon carrion decomposition influences aquatic and terrestrial insect microbiomes

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages

This paper reports on a research study aimed at examining how microbial communities interact with invertebrates at the aquatic-terrestrial habitat interface compared with terrestrial necrophagous insects.


Carrion decomposition is driven by complex relationships that affect necrobiome community (i.e. all organisms and their genes associated with a dead animal) interactions, such as insect species arrival time to carrion and microbial succession. Little is understood about how microbial communities interact with invertebrates at the aquatic–terrestrial habitat interface. The first objective of the study was to characterize internal microbial communities using high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons for aquatic insects (three mayfly species) in streams with salmon carcasses compared with those in streams without salmon carcasses. The second objective was to assess the epinecrotic microbial communities of decomposing salmon carcasses (Oncorhynchus keta) compared with those of terrestrial necrophagous insects (Calliphora terraenovae larvae and adults) associated with the carcasses. There was a significant difference in the internal microbiomes of mayflies collected in salmon carcass-bearing streams and in non-carcass streams, while the developmental stage of blow flies was the governing factor in structuring necrophagous insect internal microbiota. Furthermore, the necrophagous internal microbiome was influenced by the resource on which the larvae developed, and changes in the adult microbiome varied temporally. Overall, these carrion subsidy-driven networks respond to resource pulses with bottom-up effects on consumer microbial structure, as revealed by shifting communities over space and time. (Published Abstracts Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2016