Short-Term Effect of Capping on Microbial Communities in Freshwater Sediments
Abstract:Because biogas bubbles can influence cap integrity, the effect of capping and cap material on the ebullition potential in sediments must be studied. The goal of this comprehensive study was to determine the short-term effect of capping regime on the activity, metabolic potential, and community structure of sediment microorganisms. To evaluate the effect of capping (sand, synthetic aggregate, and no cap) on microbial communities (i.e., nitrifiers and methanogens), sediments were collected from the Anacostia River (Washington, D.C.). Microbial communities in sand-capped sediments exhibited the highest activity (tetrazolium redox dye, fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis assay, and biogas production), while communities in uncapped sediments exhibited the highest metabolic diversity. Substantial changes in microbial community structure (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) did not occur as a result of capping. Our data showed that the nature and magnitude of the effect that capping can have on microbial activity (biogas production) will likely be dependent on the capping materials chosen.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2009
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