Publication Title

Microbial Ecology

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bacterial populations, streams




The population sizes of three bacterial species, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, Burkholderia cepacia, and Pseudomonas putida, were examined in water and sediment from nine streams in different parts of the United States using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Population sizes were determined from three sites (upstream, midstream, and downstream) in each stream to compare differences in the occurrence and distribution of the species within each stream and among streams. Physical and chemical variables measured reflected differences in environmental conditions among the streams. In the water, B. cepacia numbers were highest in the agricultural, Iowa stream. P. putida numbers were highest in the southern coastal plain streams, Black Creek (GA) and Meyers Branch (SC). Compared to the other two species, the abundance of A. calcoaceticus was similar in all the streams. In sediment, the greatest abundance of all three species was found in the Iowa stream, while the lowest was in Hugh White Creek (NC). Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) explained 95.8% and 83.9% of the total variation in bacterial numbers in water and sedment of the streams, respectively. In sediments and water, B. cepacia numbers were related to nitrate concentrations. A. calcoaceticus in water clustered with several environmental variables (i.e., SRP, pH, and conductivity) but benthic populations were less well correlated with these variables. This study reveals the potential influence of various environmental conditions on different bacterial populations in stream communities.

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