Direct and Indirect Influence of Parental Bedrock on Streambed Microbial Community Structure in Forested Streams

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Date
2011
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American Society of Microbiology
Abstract

A correlative study was performed to determine if variation in streambed microbial community structure in low-order forested streams can be directly or indirectly linked to the chemical nature of the parental bedrock of the environments through which the streams flow. Total microbial and photosynthetic biomass (phospholipid phosphate [PLP] and chlorophyll a), community structure (phospholipid fatty acid analysis), and physical and chemical parameters were measured in six streams, three located in sandstone and three in limestone regions of the Bankhead National Forest in northern Alabama. Although stream water flowing through the two different bedrock types differed significantly in chemical composition, there were no significant differences in total microbial and photosynthetic biomass in the sediments. In contrast, sedimentary microbial community structure differed between the bedrock types and was significantly correlated with stream water ion concentrations. A pattern of seasonal variation in microbial community structure was also observed. Further statistical analysis indicated dissolved organic matter (DOM) quality, which was previously shown to be influenced by geological variation, correlated with variation in bacterial community structure. These results indicate that the geology of underlying bedrock influences benthic microbial communities directly via changes in water chemistry and also indirectly via stream water DOM quality.

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Keywords
DISSOLVED ORGANIC-MATTER, HYPORHEIC-ZONE, BACTERIAL COMMUNITIES, SEASONAL-VARIATION, DYNAMICS, BIOGEOGRAPHY, DIVERSITY, SEDIMENTS, BIOMASS, ASSEMBLAGES, Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology, Microbiology
Citation
Mosher, J. J., & Findlay, R. H. (2011). Direct and Indirect Influence of Parental Bedrock on Streambed Microbial Community Structure in Forested Streams. In Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Vol. 77, Issue 21, pp. 7681–7688). American Society for Microbiology. https://doi.org/10.1128/aem.06029-11