Navigation Links
Is iron from soil a factor in algal blooms?
Date:1/28/2010

Australia's own distinctive red soils could play a part in the formation of the stinking swathes of blue green algae often shovelled off east coast beaches in summer.

A QUT team of scientists is taking an in-depth look at how iron, which gives our iron-rich soil its red colour, reaches water to potentially contribute to the algal blooms, which not only have a foul smell, but also make our eyes sting, cause fich kills and smother seagrass.

Their research is centred on the catchment of Poona Creek on Queensland's Fraser Coast which drains into Great Sandy Strait-a dugong sanctuary and an internationally recognised wetlands for migratory birds.

Iron is known to be a component causative factor for algal blooms, but the mechanism by which solid iron in soils becomes soluble, and contributes to coastal algae blooms, is largely unknown.

That is why the team from QUT' s Institute for Sustainable Resources is taking the three-pronged approach of microbiology (biogeochemistry), geochemistry and hydrology studies to put together enough pieces of the iron jigsaw to form the basis for future research into mitigating causative factors contributing to dangerous algal blooms.

PhD student Lin Chaofeng is studying two types of bacteria in water that "feed on" iron.

"One type of bacteria in our waterways changes iron into a dissolved state and another type of bacteria oxidises the iron and turns it back into a insoluble form which can settle on the bottom of a creek ," Ms Lin said.

"The oxidising type of bacteria possibly makes the iron less available for as a contributing factor in algal blooms. It seems that these two bacteria usually balance each other out, but sometimes the balance is upset and so I am investigating how this happens."

QUT geology student Stefan Loehr is studying soil and sediment samples from the catchment to analyse their iron content and search for possible contributory mechanisms for iron dissolving in water.

He has studied the concentration of iron in soil in native vegetation and in pine plantations and found no significant difference in iron concentrations.

"It could be that different types of plants lead iron to be more easily soluble and so I am also investigating whether there are any differences between natural vegetation and plantation areas," Mr Loehr said.

Genevieve Larsen's study of subsurface and surface water and flow processes is aimed at finding out how the iron gets from the ground into the water, and the chemical reactions that may take place when groundwater interacts in the estuary with the marine environment.

"I'm looking for possible links between subsurface water and natural waterways such as streams, creeks and the sea," Ms Larsen said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Niki Widdowson
n.widdowson@qut.edu.au
Queensland University of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
2. Carnegie Mellon scientist uses mass spectrometer to weigh virus particle, von Willebrand factor
3. St. Jude finds factors that accelerate resistance to targeted therapy in lymphoblastic leukemia
4. Targeting nerve growth factor may cure liver cancer
5. Study identifies genetic risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus
6. Human embryonic stem cells remain embryonic because of epigenetic factors
7. Odd protein interaction guides development of olfactory system
8. Pourquie Lab demonstrates role of growth factor in vertebrae formation
9. Could hairy roots become biofactories?
10. Largest study to investigate risk factors of autism to begin enrolling families
11. Stowers Institutes Hawley Lab identifies factors responsible for restart of meiotic cycle
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/29/2016)... BOSTON , Nov. 29, 2016 BioDirection, ... rapid point-of-care products for the objective detection of concussion ... the company has successfully completed a meeting with the ... company,s Tbit™ blood test Pre-Submission Package. During the meeting ... Tbit™ system as a precursor to commencement of a ...
(Date:11/28/2016)... -- "The biometric system market projected ... biometric system market is in the growth stage and ... The biometric system market is expected to be valued ... of 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Government initiative in ... smartphones, rising use of biometric technology in financial institutes ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology ... is pleased to announce that the company has been ... Awards as "Most Outstanding in eClinical Solutions" for ... recognition and growth for MedNet, which has effectively supported ... iMedNet ™ , MedNet,s flagship eClinical technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... program for SmartBiome -- a novel metagenomic deep-sequencing research platform. SmartBiome combines ... detection of hundreds of different genes. The selective early access program is ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... The ... asking the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to consider OA as a serious disease. ... concerned about the growing population of OA patients, many of whom may experience ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... 6, 2016 According to a new market ... (Polymer, Glass, Silicon), Application (Genomics, Proteomics, Capillary Electrophoresis, POC, Clinical, Environmental, ... global market is projected to reach USD 8.78 Billion by 2021 ... during the forecast period (2016 to 2021). ... ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ON (PRWEB) , ... December ... ... or the “Company”), a company focused on discovery and development of precision ... candidates it is developing for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) inhibited the direct neurotoxic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: