Microbial Ecology

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 175–188

Scanning electron microscopy and epifluorescence investigation of bacterial colonization of marine sand sediments

  • W. Weise
  • G. Rheinheimer

DOI: 10.1007/BF02015075

Cite this article as:
Weise, W. & Rheinheimer, G. Microb Ecol (1977) 4: 175. doi:10.1007/BF02015075


Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was employed for the investigation of microorganisms living in marine sand sediments. Epifluorescence, as well as sediment analyses, gave further data on the parameters of the sediment samples.

SEM revealed a correlation between the site and density of bacterial colonization and the microtopography of the individual sand grains.

Sand grains with a medium roundness showed the greatest density of bacterial colonization. Protected surface sites were favored in the colonization process. The mode of bacterial attachment varied; mostly the barren sand grain surface was colonized. However, bacteria were also observed close to or within detritus or attached to diatoms. Many of the attaching bacteria observed were found to produce polymer strands.

In some cases special structures were discovered which could serve bacterial attachment. Entire colonies attached by means of polymer nets, and disc-shaped bacteria were observed.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Weise
    • 1
  • G. Rheinheimer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Meereskunde an der Universität KielGermany