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Microbial community structure associated with submarine groundwater discharge in northern Java (Indonesia)

Adyasari, Dini, Hassenrück, Christiane, Oehler, Till, Sabdaningsih, Aninditia, Moosdorf, Nils
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.689 pp. 590-601
Burkholderiaceae, Synechococcus, bacteria, coasts, community structure, groundwater, microbial communities, pathogens, pollutants, ribosomal RNA, salinity, seawater, sequence analysis, temperature, urban areas, water management, water quality, Indonesia
Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) can be an important pathway for chemical or biological pollutants from land to the ocean around the world. However, studies on the microbial communities associated with SGD in Southeast Asia, which has been hypothesized as SGD hotspot, remain scarce. In this study, we examined the microbial community composition with 16S rRNA gene sequencing along the hydrological continuum of an SGD site in a tropical urban area of Indonesia. Of the observed parameters in this study, salinity and temperature were the most determinant variables explaining patterns in microbial community composition. The bacterial taxon Burkholderiaceae was predominantly found in low salinity samples, including those from terrestrial groundwater and brackish pore water, while cyanobacteria of the genus Synechococcus sp. CC9902 were indicative of saline SGD and seawater samples. The composition of microbial taxa in each sample pointed to the influence of shallow terrestrial groundwater in the beach pore water, while seawater recirculation dominated the SGD sampling points situated further offshore. We identified taxa containing fecal indicators and potential pathogens at the SGD compartments; however, while a likely explanation, we could not conclude with certainty that SGD was a conduit for these bacteria. Overall, the results from this study show that microbial community analysis can highlight hydrological processes and water quality at the SGD site; thus, they could be useful for environmental policymakers to formulate water management strategies in coastal areas.