Navigation Links
Measuring microbes makes wetland health monitoring more affordable, says MU researcher

Wetlands serve as the Earth's kidneys. They filter and clean people's water supplies while serving as important habitat for many species, including iconic species like cattails, cranes and alligators. Conventional ecosystem health assessments have focused on populations of these larger species. However, the tiny, unseen creatures in the wetlands provided crucial indicators of the ecosystems' health in a study by University of Missouri Associate Professor of Engineering Zhiqiang Hu and his team. Using analysis of the microbiological health of wetlands is cheaper and faster than traditional assessments, and could lead to improvements in harnessing natural processes to filter human's wastewater.

"During road and building construction, engineers must sacrifice wetlands to development, but laws dictate that these lost wetlands be compensated for by establishing a wetland somewhere else," said Hu. "Our research could be applied to both monitor the success of these compensation wetlands and guide conservationists in inoculating new engineered ecosystems with the correct types of microorganisms."

Understanding the microbial biodiversity of a healthy wetland also informs engineers' decisions when building constructed wetlands or wastewater treatment ponds, according to Hu. These systems can help clean water flowing from sewer lines and reduce the need for expensive treatment plants.

"Microbes form the base of the wetland food chain and nutrient cycle, so the health of their populations reverberates through the ecosystem," said Hu. "However, analyzing their populations was once too difficult. Now, advances in microbial analysis allow us to more easily and accurately identify the species present in soil or water samples. This could become a vital tool to complement other forms of wetland health evaluation."

Hu's team, led by former MU doctoral student Atreyee Sims, found that a higher ratio of certain microbes, known as archaea, to bacteria was a good sign of a healthy ecosystem. When a few species of bacteria dominated the samples, the wetland was probably contaminated and unhealthy from the ground up, Sims concluded.

The study "Toward development of microbial indicators for wetland assessment" was published in the journal Water Research.


Contact: Tim Wall
University of Missouri-Columbia

Related biology news :

1. Oceanographers develop method for measuring the pace of life in deep sediments
2. Measuring our carbon footprint
3. Measuring progesterone receptor expression to improve hormone-receptor-positive cancer management
4. Measuring mercury levels: Nano-velcro detects water-borne toxic metals
5. Bringing measuring accuracy to radical treatment
6. Measuring dispersal -- how well are soft-sediment invertebrate communities connected on the seafloor?
7. Measuring the exertion of mini-basketball players
8. New protocol recommendations for measuring soil organic carbon sequestration
9. New tool for measuring frozen gas in ocean floor sediments
10. A new method for measuring the flow of traffic a street has to bear by measuring atmospheric noise
11. Measuring mercury: Common test may overestimate exposure from dental amalgam fillings
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/9/2016)... Finland , June 9, 2016 ... National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the ... France during the major tournament ... data communications systems and services, announced today that its video ... Prefecture to back up public safety across the ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... 2016 Das DOTM ... Nepal hat ein 44 Millionen ... Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, an ... und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte internationale ... teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste und ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016   The Weather Company , ... Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers will be ... able to ask questions via voice or text and receive ... Marketers have long sought an advertising ... that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Global demand for enzymes ... through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market includes ... cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and other ... and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain the ... increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in developing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products ... the United States denied its ... the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 ... criteria established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel ... clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module ... circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... operations for Amgen, will join the faculty of the University of North ... adjunct professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: