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Spatial and Temporal Microbial Patterns in a Tropical Macrotidal Estuary Subject to Urbanization

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dc.contributor Aquat Hlth Unit
dc.contributor Dept Environm & Nat Resources
dc.contributor Res Inst Environm & Livelihoods
dc.contributor Charles Darwin Univ
dc.contributor Power & Water Corp
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Charles Darwin University
dc.contributor Northern Terr Govt
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor.author GIBB, KAREN
dc.contributor.author KAESTLI, MIRJAM
dc.contributor.author SKILLINGTON, ANNA
dc.contributor.author KENNEDY, KAREN
dc.contributor.author MAJID, MATTHEW
dc.contributor.author WILLIAMS, DAVID
dc.contributor.author MCGUINNESS, KEITH
dc.contributor.author MUNKSGAARD, NIELS
dc.date.accessioned 2017-09-10T18:42:16Z
dc.date.accessioned 2017-09-10T18:42:16Z
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-09T01:13:06Z
dc.date.available 2017-09-10T18:42:16Z
dc.date.available 2017-09-10T18:42:16Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-09T01:13:06Z
dc.date.issued 2017-07-13
dc.identifier.citation Kaestli M, Skillington A, Kennedy K, Majid M, Williams D, McGuinness K, Munksgaard N, Gibb K (2017) Spatial and Temporal Microbial Patterns in a Tropical Macrotidal Estuary Subject to Urbanization. Frontiers in Microbiology 8: 1313
dc.identifier.issn 1664-302X
dc.identifier.uri http://epubs.aims.gov.au/11068/11061
dc.description.abstract Darwin Harbour in northern Australia is an estuary in the wet-dry tropics subject to increasing urbanization with localized water quality degradation due to increased nutrient loads from urban runoff and treated sewage effluent. Tropical estuaries are poorly studied compared to temperate systems and little is known about the microbial community-level response to nutrients. We aimed to examine the spatial and temporal patterns of the bacterial community and its association with abiotic factors. Since Darwin Harbour is macrotidal with strong seasonal patterns and mixing, we sought to determine if a human impact signal was discernible in the microbiota despite the strong hydrodynamic forces. Adopting a single impact-double reference design, we investigated the bacterial community using next-generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene from water and sediment from reference creeks and creeks affected by effluent and urban runoff. Samples were collected over two years during neap and spring tides, in the dry and wet seasons. Temporal drivers, namely seasons and tides had the strongest relationship to the water microbiota, reflecting the macrotidal nature of the estuary and its location in the wet-dry tropics. The neap-tide water microbiota provided the clearest spatial resolution while the sediment microbiota reflected current and past water conditions. Differences in patterns of the microbiota between different parts of the harbor reflected the harbor's complex hydrodynamics and bathymetry. Despite these variations, a microbial signature was discernible relating to specific effluent sources and urban runoff, and the composite of nutrient levels accounted for the major part of the explained variation in the microbiota followed by salinity. Our results confirm an overall good water quality but they also reflect the extent of some hypereutrophic areas. Our results show that the microbiota is a sensitive indicator to assess ecosystem health even in this dynamic and complex ecosystem.
dc.description.sponsorship We thank the Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology Unit (ECMU) at CDU for ICP-MS, FIA and chlorophyll-a analysis, namely Francoise Foti, Dylan Campbell and Dionisia Lambrinidis. We thank the AIMS team in Townsville, Australia for the TOC and DOC analysis. We thank Derek Sarovich for hioinformatics support for the supercomputer facilities at CDU and Andrew Gould of the Aquatic Health Unit and Kanchana Niwanthi Warnakulasooriya at CDU for field support. We thank the INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Project for site access around Blaydin Point and Jordan Phasey and Steven McAleer (Power and Water Corporation) for access to the wastewater treatment ponds. This study was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Project (ARC LP120200110). The 16s ribosomal data was deposited with Qiita (http://qiita.ucsd.edui; study 10780) and the European Nucleotide Archive (accession number ERP022659).
dc.language English
dc.subject Microbiology
dc.subject Dynamics
dc.subject River Estuary
dc.subject Australia
dc.subject Sediments
dc.subject Bacterial Community Structure
dc.subject Gene
dc.subject Microbiota
dc.subject Temporal And Spatial Patterns
dc.subject Treated Sewage Effluent
dc.subject Darwin Harbor
dc.subject Ecosystems
dc.subject Water
dc.subject Macrotidal Tropical Estuary
dc.subject Urban Runoff
dc.subject Diversity
dc.title Spatial and Temporal Microbial Patterns in a Tropical Macrotidal Estuary Subject to Urbanization
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01313
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000406155500002


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