Environmental and hydroclimatic factors influencing Vibrio populations in the estuarine zone of the Bengal delta
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The objective of this study was to determine environmental parameters driving Vibrio populations in the estuarine zone of the Bengal delta. Spatio-temporal data were collected at river estuary, mangrove, beach, pond, and canal sites. Effects of salinity, tidal amplitude, and a cyclone and tsunami were included in the study. Vibrio population shifts were found to be correlated with tide-driven salinity and suspended particulate matter (SPM). Increased abundance of Vibrio spp. in surface water was observed after a cyclone, attributed to re-suspension of benthic particulate organic carbon (POC), and increased availability of chitin and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Approximately a two log10 increase in the (p < 0.05) number of Vibrio spp. was observed in < 20 μm particulates, compared with microphytoplankton (20–60 μm) and zooplankton > 60 μm fractions. Benthic and suspended sediment comprised a major reservoir of Vibrio spp. Results of microcosm experiments showed enhanced growth of vibrios was related to concentration of organic matter in SPM. It is concluded that SPM, POC, chitin, and salinity significantly influence abundance and distribution of vibrios in the Bengal delta estuarine zone.
KeywordsVibrio Salinity Cyclone Tide Chitin Sediment dynamics
We appreciate the technical support of the environmental surveillance team of icddr,b. We also acknowledge the kind assistance of Professor Anwar Huq, University of Maryland, for reviewing the manuscript and providing advice. Thoughtful suggestions received from Prodyot Kumar Basu Neogi, ex-scientist of icddr,b, are gratefully remembered. icddr,b is thankful to the Governments of Bangladesh, Canada, Sweden, and the UK for providing core/unrestricted support.
This research was supported by the ZMT, Bremen (Grant No. LA 868/5-1 from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Federal Ministry of Economic Corporation and Development, Germany), Osaka Prefecture University (Monbukagakusho: MEXT Scholarship Program), the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland (National Institutes of Health Grant No. 2RO1A1039129-11A2).
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