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:11/28/2016)... "The biometric system market ... The biometric system market is in the growth stage ... future. The biometric system market is expected to be ... CAGR of 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Government initiative ... in smartphones, rising use of biometric technology in financial ...
(Date:11/19/2016)... , Nov. 18, 2016 Securus Technologies, a ... for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, announced today ... competitor, ICSolutions, to have an independent technology judge determine ... most modern high tech/sophisticated telephone calling platform, and the ... that they do most of what we do – ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... DUBLIN , Nov 15, 2016 Research ... - Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... ... reach USD 16.18 Billion by 2021 from USD 6.21 Billion in ... Growth of the bioinformatics market is driven by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... (CSS) and the popularity of US Single Day Events (SDE) to organize a ... Summer 2018, in Raleigh, NC. Topics of the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... Orthogonal, a Chicago-based ... recent FDA Class II 510(k) clearance for their flagship medical device, SimplECG. , ... cardiac monitoring devices that rely on cloth-based nanosensors. While other companies have attempted ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 1, 2016   SurePure, Inc. (OTCQB: SURP) ... the Company has concluded an agreement with Tamarack Biotics ... 90-day period to acquire units of the Company,s patented ... 3.7 million.  Concurrently with the option, ... which Tamarack will seek regulatory approvals in ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... 2016 , ... BEI Kimco, a brand of Sensata Technologies, ... that ensures high alignment accuracy by preventing unwanted shaft rotation. The new VCA ... precision is required, such as in medical equipment, laboratory instrumentation, clean rooms, low-outgassing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: