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Elucidation of the microbial diversity in rivers in south-west Victoria, Australia impacted by rural agricultural contamination (dairy farming)

journal contribution
posted on 2019-05-01, 00:00 authored by Arturo Aburto-Medina, Esmaeil Shahsavari, Scott SalzmanScott Salzman, Andrew Kramer, Andrew S Ball, Graeme Allinson
We assessed the water quality of south-west Victorian rivers impacted by the dairy industry using traditional water quality assessment together with culture-dependent (colilert/enterolert) and also culture-independent (next generation sequencing) microbial methods. The aim of the study was to identify relationships/associations between dairy farming intensity and water contamination. Water samples with high total and faecal coliforms (>1000 MPN cfu/100 ml), and with high nitrogen levels (TN) were observed in zones with a high proportion of dairy farming. Members of the genus Nitrospira, Rhodobacter and Rhodoplanes were predominant in such high cattle density zones. Samples from sites in zones with lower dairy farming activities registered faecal coliform numbers within the permissible limits (<1000 MPN cfu/100 ml) and showed the presence of a wide variety of microorganisms. However, no bacterial pathogens were found in the river waters regardless of the proportion of cattle. The data suggests that using the spatially weighted proportion of land used for dairy farming is a useful way to target at-risk sub-catchments across south west Victoria; further work is required to confirm that this approach is applicable in other regions.

History

Journal

Ecotoxicology and environmental safety

Volume

172

Pagination

356 - 363

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0147-6513

eISSN

1090-2414

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2019, Elsevier Inc.