To identify changes in community structure, we used 16S rRNA amplicon and shotgun sequencing. Unlike the unfiltered water samples where the consumption of DOC was rapid, the filtered fraction showed a 3-day lag phase before the consumption started. Analysis of functional categories of clusters of orthologous groups of proteins (COGs) showed that COGs associated with energy production increased in number in both fractions with substrate addition. The filtered fraction utilized low-molecular-weight (LMW) DOC at much slower rates than the whole community.
Addition of nanomolar concentrations of LMW DOC did not measurably influence the composition of the microbial community nor the rate of consumption across all substrate types in either fraction. We conclude that due to their low activity, filterable microorganisms play a minor role in LMW DOC processing within a short residence time of lotic freshwater systems.