The fate of allochthonous dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in aquatic systems is primarily controlled by the turnover of heterotrophic bacteria. However, the role that abiotic and biotic factors such as light and DOC release by aquatic primary producers play in the microbial decomposition of allochthonous DOC is not well understood. We therefore tested to see if light and autochthonous DOC additions would increase allochthonous DOC decomposition rates and change bacterial growth efficiencies and community composition (BCC). We established continuous growth cultures in chemostats with different inocula of natural bacterial communities and alder leaf leachates (DOCleaf) with and without light exposure before amendment. Furthermore, we incubated DOCleaf together with autochthonous DOC from lysed phytoplankton cultures (DOCphyto).

Project participants:

Hans-Peter Grossart – PI (IGB)
Martin Allgaier – PI (IGB)
Christian Wurzbacher – Postdoc (IGB)
Katrin Attermeyer -PhD student (IGB)

Involved BeGenDiv members:

Christian Wurzbacher (Project strategy, data analysis)
Susan Mbedi (Sequencing)

Applied methods:

Sequencing: Illumina MiSeq

Status at BeGenDiv:


Partner institutes:

UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (Magdeburg)


Pact for Innovation and Research of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz scientific community (part of the project TerraLac)


2010 – 2013

Attermeyer K, Tittel J, Allgaier M, Frindte K, Wurzbacher C, Hilt S, Kamjunke N, Grossart HP

Effects of light and autochthonous carbon additions on microbial turnover of allochthonous organic carbon and community composition.

Under revision in Microbial Ecology.