Navigation Links
Heavy metals in the Peak District -- evidence from bugs in blanket bogs
Date:4/1/2008

Bacteria that consume heavy metals have been found in some of the most contaminated parts of the Peak District in the Southern Pennines and may be changing the pollutants into more toxic forms that could leak out into reservoirs, scientists will hear tomorrow (Monday 31 March 2008) at the Society for General Microbiologys 162nd meeting being held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The U.K. has approximately 10 15 % of the total global area of blanket bog and it covers about 8% of our total land surface. Many of the water gathering areas in the UK are located in upland blanket peat environments. It is estimated that around 16 million people live within 1 hours travelling time of the park boundary.

Millions of people rely both directly and indirectly on the health and conservation of the Peak District National Park, says Dr Patricia Linton from Manchester Metropolitan University. We have established which bacteria are dominant in the Southern Pennines. Any changes in the bacterial diversity could affect the delicate balance of the ecosystem and the health of the flora and fauna of the area.

The inter-disciplinary team of researchers has found that there is a split in the types of bacteria present, with extreme bacteria dominating in areas with the highest levels of heavy metals. Heavy metal pollution is likely to be a key factor in influencing bacterial species composition, says Dr Linton. Some of the bacteria we found in Peak District grow using iron and sulphur as an energy source. Some produce acid, which may be further acidifying the bog environment.

Many heavy metals become more soluble at low pH and therefore more toxic to plants and animals and more susceptible to leaching from the soil into waterways. Bacteria may be contributing to the release of toxic heavy metals and this may have severe implications for plant and animal health and water quality.

Climate change may make blanket bogs more susceptible to erosion and the release of stored carbon from these bog soils is of major global concern. Bacteria in the soil increase the carbon stored in the bog environment and help protect against erosion processes, says Dr Linton. Changes in bacterial diversity make these areas more at risk from carbon release processes. This in turn may exacerbate climate change and change ecosystem functioning

The high level of heavy metals is due to the history of atmospheric pollution in these areas. This work shows that historical contaminants are still having an effect many years after first being deposited. The researchers have started to quantify the effects of long-term historical heavy metal pollution on plants and animals in the area. Information about the bacterial species present could be used as an indicator of the health and fertility of peat bogs.

Blanket bogs in the Peak District have significant international importance for nature conservation, and provide a habitat for many rare plants, such as Bog Rosemary and wild orchids, birds like the Golden Plover and animals including the rare Mountain Hare. They are also an important recreational resource, says Dr Linton. Future work will ensure that people can enjoy the beautiful Peak District National Park and all of its important natural resources for generations to come.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lucy Goodchild
l.goodchild@sgm.ac.uk
44-078-248-83010
Society for General Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Heavy rainfall on the increase
2. UDs Bobev receives NSF Early Career Award for research on novel compounds of rare Earth metals
3. Additional evidence of wolverine found in the Tahoe National Forest
4. Mounting evidence shows red wine antioxidant kills cancer
5. LSU scientist finds evidence of rain-making bacteria
6. Corporate Safe Specialists Smart Safes Capture Evidence in Robbery and Theft
7. No convincing evidence for decline in tropical forests
8. Scientific evidence supporting evolution continues to grow
9. There is powerful evidence of evolution in human DNA
10. CWRU School of Medicine has evidence vaccine against malaria will reduce disease
11. RAND study finds evidence disease management programs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 No two people ... at the New York University Tandon School of ... have found that partial similarities between prints are ... in mobile phones and other electronic devices can ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... --  EyeLock LLC , a leader of iris-based identity ... and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. ... iris image with a face image acquired in sequence ... th issued patent. "The issuance ... multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come to market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For the second time in ... STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, ... , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in America ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... USDM Life Sciences , ... life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by Subbu Viswanathan and Jennifer ... “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present a revolutionary approach to ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ... University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS ... for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... Seattle, WA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... the industry leader in Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome ... the ProxiMeta Hi-C kit and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C ...
Breaking Biology Technology: