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Many freshwater environments experience dramatic seasonal changes with some systems remaining ice-covered for most of the winter. Freshwater systems are also highly sensitive to environmental change. However, little is known about changes in microbial abundance and community composition during lake ice formation and times of persistent ice cover. The goal of this study is to characterize temporal dynamics of microbial communities during ice formation and persistent ice cover. Samples were collected in triplicate, five days per week from surface water in the Keweenaw Waterway between November and April. Environmental conditions along with microbial abundance and microbial community composition was determined. Distinct community composition was found between ice-free and ice-covered time periods with significantly different community composition between months. The microbial community underwent dramatic shifts in microbial abundance and diversity during the transitions into and out of ice cover. The richness of the microbial community increased during times of ice cover. Relatives of microbes involved in nitrogen cycling bloomed during times of ice cover as sequences related to known nitrifying taxa were significantly enriched during ice cover. These results help to elucidate how microbial abundance and diversity change over drastic seasonal transitions and how ice cover may affect microbial abundance and diversity.

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© The Author(s) 2019. Article deposited here in compliance with publisher policies. Publisher's version of record:

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Scientific Reports

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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