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Institut für Wasser- und Umweltsystemmodellierung - IWS



"Microbial biostabilization – an important ecosystem service at microscale (Abstract)"

Sediments and the associated microbial communities (biofilms) feature to a great extend the essential functionality of marine and freshwater habitats and provide important “ecosystem services” such as nutrient (re)-cycling or self-purification. This paper addresses the ecosystem function “biostabilisation” where the microorganisms modify the response of the aquatic sediments to erosive forces (flow velocity, turbulence) by the secretion of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). That way, biostabilisation of fine sediments helps to contain the formerly deposited and buried old pollutants. However, this functionality is threatened by the increasing load of anthropogenic micropollutants or trace compounds (ATCs). ATCs originate from our modern life style and are often designed to act antimicrobial thus leading to microbial death and finally, biofilm dissolution with consequences for sediment erosion. This paper addresses the newest findings in biostabilisation research in lotic waters that, in the long-term, should be implemented in sediment transport models to enhance their prediction power further.