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Title: Stygofauna enhance prokaryotic transport in groundwater ecosystems

Abstract

More than 97% of the world’s freshwater reserves are found in aquifers, making groundwater one of the most important resources on the planet. Prokaryotic communities in groundwater underpin the turnover of energy and matter while also maintaining groundwater purity. Thus, knowledge of microbial transport in the subsurface is crucial for maintaining groundwater health. Here, we describe for the first time the importance of stygofauna as vectors for prokaryotes. The “hitch-hiking” prokaryotes associated with stygofauna may be up to 5 orders of magnitude higher in abundance and transported up to 34× faster than bulk groundwater flow. We also demonstrate that prokaryotic diversity associated with stygofauna may be higher than that of the surrounding groundwater. Stygofauna are a newly recognized prokaryotic niche in groundwater ecosystems that have the potential to transport remediating, water purifying and pathogenic prokaryotes. Furthermore, stygofauna may influence ecosystem dynamics and health at a microbial level, and at a larger scale could be a new source of prokaryotic diversity in groundwater ecosystems.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [3];  [1];  [1]
  1. Flinders Univ., Adelaide, SA (Australia)
  2. Flinders Univ., Adelaide, SA (Australia); Arcadia Univ., Glenside, PA (United States)
  3. Flinders Univ., Adelaide, SA (Australia); South Australian Museum, Adelaide, SA (Australia)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Arcadia Univ., Glenside, PA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry and Physics
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1378369
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Environmental microbiology; Molecular biology

Citation Formats

Smith, Renee J., Paterson, James S., Launer, Elise, Tobe, Shanan S., Morello, Eliesa, Leijs, Remko, Marri, Shashikanth, and Mitchell, James G. Stygofauna enhance prokaryotic transport in groundwater ecosystems. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1038/srep32738.
Smith, Renee J., Paterson, James S., Launer, Elise, Tobe, Shanan S., Morello, Eliesa, Leijs, Remko, Marri, Shashikanth, & Mitchell, James G. Stygofauna enhance prokaryotic transport in groundwater ecosystems. United States. doi:10.1038/srep32738.
Smith, Renee J., Paterson, James S., Launer, Elise, Tobe, Shanan S., Morello, Eliesa, Leijs, Remko, Marri, Shashikanth, and Mitchell, James G. Tue . "Stygofauna enhance prokaryotic transport in groundwater ecosystems". United States. doi:10.1038/srep32738. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1378369.
@article{osti_1378369,
title = {Stygofauna enhance prokaryotic transport in groundwater ecosystems},
author = {Smith, Renee J. and Paterson, James S. and Launer, Elise and Tobe, Shanan S. and Morello, Eliesa and Leijs, Remko and Marri, Shashikanth and Mitchell, James G.},
abstractNote = {More than 97% of the world’s freshwater reserves are found in aquifers, making groundwater one of the most important resources on the planet. Prokaryotic communities in groundwater underpin the turnover of energy and matter while also maintaining groundwater purity. Thus, knowledge of microbial transport in the subsurface is crucial for maintaining groundwater health. Here, we describe for the first time the importance of stygofauna as vectors for prokaryotes. The “hitch-hiking” prokaryotes associated with stygofauna may be up to 5 orders of magnitude higher in abundance and transported up to 34× faster than bulk groundwater flow. We also demonstrate that prokaryotic diversity associated with stygofauna may be higher than that of the surrounding groundwater. Stygofauna are a newly recognized prokaryotic niche in groundwater ecosystems that have the potential to transport remediating, water purifying and pathogenic prokaryotes. Furthermore, stygofauna may influence ecosystem dynamics and health at a microbial level, and at a larger scale could be a new source of prokaryotic diversity in groundwater ecosystems.},
doi = {10.1038/srep32738},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {9}
}

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