The Microbial Populations Of The Intertidal Zone Of Two Sandy Beaches

Brown, Austin Ewing (1979). The Microbial Populations Of The Intertidal Zone Of Two Sandy Beaches. MPhil thesis The Open University.



This study was based on an examination of the bacterial and fungal populations in the intertidal zone of two sandy beaches. The two beaches were near Hartlepool, Cleveland, and one was selected as being heavily polluted by a major sewage outfall whilst the other appeared to be relatively unpolluted. Several physical and chemical characteristics of the two beaches were also assessed.

The results show that there were resident populations of heterotrophic bacteria present in both beaches. These populations consisted principally of species of Pseudomonas. Fungi were also isolated from both sites. Most of the genera recorded are normally regarded as terrestial. There was an inverse correlation between the numbers of bacteria and fungi in both beaches. No major qualitative or quantitative difference was found between the microbiology of the polluted and the non-polluted beach. Human faecal bacteria were not found in either sediment.

Experiments carried out on the effects of adsorption in these intertidal sands emphasised the importance of this phenomenon in the microbial ecology of these substrates. Desiccation was shown to profoundly change the bacterial flora of sand but water loss was considered to be minimal in the zones subject to twice daily inundation.

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