EPA Science Inventory

MICROBIAL BIOFILMS AS INTEGRATIVE SENSORS OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Citation:

Snyder, R. A., M A. Lewis, A. Nocker, AND J. E. Lepo. MICROBIAL BIOFILMS AS INTEGRATIVE SENSORS OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY. Estuarine Indicators Workshop, Sanibel Island, FL, October 29 - 31, 2003. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL, 111-126, (2005).

Description:

Snyder, Richard A., Michael A. Lewis, Andreas Nocker and Joe E. Lepo. In press. Microbial Biofilms as Integrative Sensors of Environmental Quality. In: Estuarine Indicators Workshop Proceedings. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 34 p. (ERL,GB 1198).

Microbial biofilms are complex communities of bacteria, protozoa, microalgae and micrometazoa that exist in a polymer matrix on submerged surfaces. Their development is integrative of environmental conditions and is affected by local biodiversity, the bioavailability or organic matter and inorganic nutrients, and the presence or absence of grazers and anthropogenic contaminants. Standard methods for the use of periphyton as an environmental indicator have focused on the algal component of these communities. This chapter takes a broader view of the potential information content of the entire microbial assemblage as an indicator of environmental condition. Microbial biofilm communities exhibit habitat specificity as a result of the quality and quantity of resources available and grazers controlling community structure and function. In addition, temporal and spatial variability within biofilms reflect changes in system status, including nutrient and organic loading and the presence of contaminants. A variety of standard methods are available to analyze biofilm community structure and function. Biofilm sampling is a flexible method that can be applied to the analysis and monitoring of spatial and temporal trends of nutrient loading and other stressors affecting estuarine ecosystem status.

Estuarine Indicators Workshop, sponsored by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, 29-31 October 2003, J.N. Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL

Purpose/Objective:

Presents a review of biofilm research related to the factors controlling community structure and function, the conceptual basis for using biofilms as biological indicators, and case studies of several applications the authors have undertaken to answer specific questions

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PAPER IN NON-EPA PROCEEDINGS)
Start Date: 01/01/2005
Completion Date: 01/01/2005
Record Last Revised: 03/26/2013
Record Created: 12/08/2004
Record Released: 12/08/2004
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 96846

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION

ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT BRANCH