Cao et al_MicroEcol_2006v52p619

Cao et al_MicroEcol_2006v52p619 - Microbial Ecology...

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Microbial Ecology Relationships between Sediment Microbial Communities and Pollutants in Two California Salt Marshes Y. Cao 1 , G.N. Cherr 2 ,A .L .Co ´rdova-Kreylos 3 , T.W.-M. Fan 3,4 , P.G. Green 5 , R.M. Higashi 6 , M.G. LaMontagne 7 , K.M. Scow 3 , C.A. Vines 2 , J. Yuan 8 and P.A. Holden 1 (1) Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131, USA (2) Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California, Davis, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, USA (3) Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA (4) Department of Chemistry, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40208, USA (5) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA (6) Center for Health and Environment, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA (7) Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA 70609, USA (8) Department of Statistics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA Received: 17 December 2005 / Accepted: 21 April 2006 / Online publication: 28 October 2006 Abstract Salt marshes are important ecosystems whose plant and microbial communities can alter terrestrially derived pollutants prior to coastal water discharge. However, knowledge regarding relationships between anthropo- genic pollutant levels and salt marsh microbial commu- nities is limited, and salt marshes on the West Coast of the United States are rarely examined. In this study, we investigated the relationships between microbial com- munity composition and 24 pollutants (20 metals and 4 organics) in two California salt marshes. Multivariate ordination techniques were used to assess how bacterial community composition, as determined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and phospho- lipid fatty acid analyses, was related to pollution. Sea urchin embryo toxicity measurements and plant tissue metabolite profiles were considered two other biometrics of pollution. Spatial effects were strongly manifested across marshes and across channel elevations within marshes. Utilizing partial canonical correspondence analysis, an ordination technique new to microbial ecology, we found that several metals were strongly associated with microbial community composition after accounting for spatial effects. The major patterns in plant metabolite profiles were consistent with patterns across microbial community profiles, but sea urchin embryo assays, which are commonly used to evaluate ecological toxicity, had no identifiable relationships with pollution. Whereas salt marshes are generally dynamic and complex habitats, microbial communities in these marshes appear to be relatively sensitive indicators of toxic pollutants. Introduction Salt marshes are among the most productive ecosystems, and they harbor a large variety of fish, birds, and wildlife species [ 78 ]. Salt marshes are frequently the last barriers between the coastal ocean and uplands, which are often heavily populated and developed [ 50 ]. Because they function as B buffer zones ^ by intercepting, stabilizing,
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Cao et al_MicroEcol_2006v52p619 - Microbial Ecology...

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