Because of their recognized global importance, there is now the urgent need to map diversity and distribution patterns of marine microbial communities. Even if available studies provided some advances in the understanding the biogeographical patterns of marine microbiomes at the global scale, their degree of plasticity at the local scale it is still underexplored, and functional implications still need to be dissected. In this scenario here we provide a synoptical study on the microbiomes of the water column and surface sediments from 19 sites in a 130 km(2) area located 13.5 km afar from the coast in the North-Western Adriatic Sea (Italy), providing the finest-scale mapping of marine microbiomes in the Mediterranean Sea. Pelagic and benthic microbiomes in the study area showed sector specific-patterns and distinct assemblage structures, corresponding to specific variations in the microbiome network structure. While maintaining a balanced structure in terms of potential ecosystem services (e.g., hydrocarbon degradation and nutrient cycling), sector-specific patterns of over-abundant modules-and taxa-were defined, with the South sector (the closest to the coast) characterized by microbial groups of terrestrial origins, both in the pelagic and the benthic realms. By the granular assessment of the marine microbiome changes at the local scale, we have been able to describe, to our knowledge at the first time, the integration of terrestrial microorganisms in the marine microbiome networks, as a possible natural process characterizing eutrophic coastal area. This raises the question about the biological threshold for terrestrial microorganisms to be admitted in the marine microbiome networks, without altering the ecological balance.
Microbiome network in the pelagic and benthic offshore systems of the northern Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea) / Scicchitano, Daniel; Lo Martire, Marco; Palladino, Giorgia; Nanetti, Enrico; Fabbrini, Marco; Dell'Anno, Antonio; Rampelli, Simone; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Candela, Marco. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - ELETTRONICO. - 12:1(2022), p. 16670. [10.1038/s41598-022-21182-8]