Factors affecting the response of marine and estuarine bacterial communities to trace metal enrichment


Jones, Rachel Mary (2005) Factors affecting the response of marine and estuarine bacterial communities to trace metal enrichment. University of Southampton, School of Ocean and Earth Science, Doctoral Thesis , 196pp.

Download

[img] PDF
Download (4Mb)

Description/Abstract

Studies of the effects of trace metal perturbation on microbial communities have, to date,
concentrated on contaminated environments, single phylotypes or single metals. The
effects of trace metals on bacterial communities in estuarine and marine environments
have been largely overlooked. The aim of this research was to advance the scientific
knowledge in this area by the implementation of incubation experiments. Experiments
were designed to determine the effects of trace metal enrichment and aggregate formation
on the structure and function of bacterial communities. Environmental samples included
bacterioplankton from a pristine estuary (Erme, Devon), a moderately contaminated
estuary (Tamar, Devon), a contaminated estuary (Fal, Cornwall), a coastal station (M1)
and a truly marine station off the continental shelf (M2).
Key factors influencing the response of bacterial communities to trace metal enrichment
were identified. In marine communities the most influential factors were; environmental
parameters, such as type and concentration of organic matter; initial community
composition and ambient concentration of zinc. The addition of trace metals resulted in a
decrease in diversity in the bacterial community from the Tamar Estuary, however,
bacterial association with aggregates appeared to reduce this effect. Community
dynamics of bacteria from a pristine estuary (Erme) demonstrated remarkable bacterial
resilience under trace metal stress, particularly in samples dominated by bacteria from the
Rhodobacteraceae. Some metals were shown to have a more profound effect on
community dynamics than others, resulting in the division of trace metals into Type 1 and
Type 2 categories as a function of bacterial response. RNA derived community
fingerprints were more different between incubation conditions than DNA derived
fingerprints, and were thus a more sensitive indication of response to trace metal
enrichment. The wider implications of the effects of trace metals on bacterial
communities in estuarine and marine environments are discussed, along with possible
future research directions. Recommendations are made for future investigations of the
effects of metal contamination in light of the results presented here.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
ePrint ID: 66354
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2009
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:47
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/66354

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics