Navigation Links
Measuring microbes makes wetland health monitoring more affordable, says MU researcher
Date:4/9/2013

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
walltj@missouri.edu
573-882-3346
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/2/2017)... MELBOURNE, Australia , March 2, 2017 ... Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: CYP), has signed an agreement ... researchers from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department ... , to conduct a further preclinical study to support ... the treatment of asthma.  Asthma is ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... WASHINGTON , Feb. 27, 2017   Strategic ... fund, today announced it has led a $3.5 million investment ... collaboration platform. Strategic Cyber Ventures is DC based and ... and Hank Thomas . Ron Gula , ... Tech Ventures, also participated in this series A round ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... February 21, 2017 Der weltweite ... wachsen. Nach einem Gespräch mit mehr als 50 Vertretern aus ... zu überwinden gilt, um diese Prognose zu realisieren. ... ... Mobilisierung der finanziellen Mittel für die Biobank, die Implementierung ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... , ... March 29, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline, the leading ... has announced its 3rd Annual Medical Device Summit 2017 venue and speaker lineup. The ... House Hotel, in Boston, MA. , The Omni Parker House Hotel, which is located ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... ... is exhibiting in booth 513 at the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) ... March 29-31. , CANCERSCAPE unites key stakeholders from leading national organizations to ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -  GeneNews Limited (TSX:GEN) ("GeneNews" or ... a new risk stratification test for breast cancer, via its ... Laboratory ("IDL"). BreastSentry incorporates a blood-based biomarker test with a ... for developing breast cancer.   ... BreastSentry measures the fasting plasma levels ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , ... March 28, 2017 , ... Mass spectrometry is ... utilization of this technology is driven by its potential to perform challenging analyses in ... also some challenges that must be addressed for it to be routinely used for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: