Organotolerance in the Natural Bacterial Assemblage in Surface Sediments of Charleston Harbor, San Diego Bay, and the Upper Delaware River System
Rept. for 1 Mar 1998-1 Dec 2002
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
The addition of volatile organic compounds VOCs into the environment represents one stressor that may affect metabolism among some components of the bacterial assemblage in submerged sediments. Chronic exposure to VOCs and their rapid transport to submerged sediments may impact the structure of the assemblage by increasing the selective pressure for organotolerant strains. We developed an assay to differentiate the change in bacterial production in response to input of the VOC naphthalene. Bacterial production in surface water and sediments that chronically receive input of fresh petroleum or other volatile organics was less inhibited by naphthalene additions than was bacterial production from more pristine areas. The inherent difficulties involved in assessing current day input from historical contamination in estuaries have the potential to make this a valuable tool in environmental forensics. This assay was used to evaluate the bacterial assemblage in surface sediments of three coastal estuaries chosen because they all involve differentiating historical petroleum releases by the Navy from current industrial inputs to estuarine sediments.
- Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology
- Water Pollution and Control