Microbial Ecology

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 155–169 | Cite as

Changes in water and sediment bacterial community structure in a lake receiving acid mine drainage

  • Raymond A. Wassel
  • Aaron L. Mills


Water and sediment bacterial communities in a freshwater impoundment were studied over a 13-month period for stress-related responses to a point source of acid mine drainage (AMD). Comparisons of community structure were made on collections taken at the mouth of the acid stream, at a point 2 km downstream, and at the mouth of an uncontaminated stream. Monthly measurements of pH and specific conductance indicated the expected decrease in the AMD pollution with increasing distance from the source. Acridine orange direct counts did not differ significantly among the sites; however significantly fewer viable heterotrophs were observed by plate counts at the acid impacted station relative to the uncontaminated site. The diversity of the communities was significantly lower at the sites receiving mine drainage as compared with the unaffected station, and comparisons of community similarity showed that collections from the impacted sites were more like each other than like the control site. The assemblage at the latter site contained many bacterial guilds not found at the contaminated sites. The guilds unique to the control site showed a reduced in vitro ability to tolerate heavy metals as compared with the general community.


Acid Mine Drainage Acridine Control Site Acridine Orange Bacterial Community Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond A. Wassel
    • 1
  • Aaron L. Mills
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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