Regional biodiversity and seasonal dynamics of the bacterial communities in karstic springs of SloveniaMaja Opalički Slabe
, 2019, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: Information on groundwater’s natural bacterial communities is important for evaluating pristine groundwater’s quality, as environmental changes potentially lead to alterations in bacterial community structures. In four seasons, 15 hypothetically pristine springs across five karst eco-regions in Slovenia (Central Europe) were analysed during their low discharge, and their basic physical and chemical parameters were recorded. The diversity of bacterial community structures was assessed with a terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting method. Total cell counts as bacterial abundance and electron transport system activity as bacterial respiratory activity were used for quantitative evaluation of bacterial communities. To detect anthropogenic pollution, spring water was tested by the cultivation of coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli (E. coli).
Results indicate distinct regional differences in environmental parameters, bacterial respiratory activity, presence of coliforms and E. coli, bacterial abundances, and qualitative bacterial community structures, but there were no regional differences in the numbers of operational taxonomic units and biodiversity indices (Shannon-Wiener’s and Simpson’s diversity index, Buzas and Gibson’s evenness). The analysis of seasonal environmental parameters showed significant differences in dissolved organic carbon and pH, and also significant changes in bacterial respiratory activity and abundances, as well as differences in bacterial community structures, the numbers of operational taxonomic units, and biodiversity indices. No seasonal variations were shown for coliforms and E. coli.
Despite seasonal oscillations, regional differences prevailed among five karst eco-regions and indicate a significant influence on the qualitative and quantitative aspects of groundwater bacterial community structures. The study confirmed both regional and seasonal differences in groundwater bacterial community structures, which should be included in further sustainable management plans of the aquifers.
Keywords: karst springs, bacterial community structure (BCS), terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), total cell counts (TCC), electron transport system activity (ETSA)
Published in RUNG: 26.06.2019; Views: 3238; Downloads: 171
Full text (3,76 MB)