Department

Department of Microbiology and Department of Renewable Resources

First Advisor

Dr. Melanie Murphy

Second Advisor

Dr. Gerard Andrews

Third Advisor

Dr. Shannon Albeke

Description

Anthropogenic activity and waste can have a huge effect on the microbial biodiversity of a stream system, potentially destabilizing the ecosystem through the disruption of bacterial nutrient cycling. This project assessed the species composition of stream microbes within the streams of Glacier National Park and measured the effect of human traffic and waste on their spatial distribution. Streams of particular concern to Glacier National Park, due to heavy human activity and the presence of near - by pit toil ets, were sampled from their headwaters to their confluence with higher order streams; a stream that has no known human contact was sampled as a control. Samples were taken every 700 m and species distribution determined through indicator organisms. Inte rest species were chosen based on their known abundance in similar waters outside of the Park and their ecological significance. Quantitative PCR was used to enumerate the number of normal flora versus the number of coliforms in each sample.

Comments

Oral Presentation, NASA Space Grant Consortium, EPSCoR, UW Honor s Program

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Do Tourists Bug Bacteria: The Effects of Human Presence and Pollution on Bacterial Diversity and Distribution in the Streams of Glacier National Park.

Anthropogenic activity and waste can have a huge effect on the microbial biodiversity of a stream system, potentially destabilizing the ecosystem through the disruption of bacterial nutrient cycling. This project assessed the species composition of stream microbes within the streams of Glacier National Park and measured the effect of human traffic and waste on their spatial distribution. Streams of particular concern to Glacier National Park, due to heavy human activity and the presence of near - by pit toil ets, were sampled from their headwaters to their confluence with higher order streams; a stream that has no known human contact was sampled as a control. Samples were taken every 700 m and species distribution determined through indicator organisms. Inte rest species were chosen based on their known abundance in similar waters outside of the Park and their ecological significance. Quantitative PCR was used to enumerate the number of normal flora versus the number of coliforms in each sample.