CS06 Benthos
Date: Friday, June 14, 2002
Time: 9:30:00 AM
Location: Colwood
 
HoskinsDL, DOC/NOAA/NMFS c/oSavannah State University, Savannah GA, USA, dionne.hoskins@noaa.gov
 
MICROBIAL EXTRACELLULAR POLYMERS (EPS) FROM COASTAL GEORGIA SEDIMENTS: INSIGNIFICANT OR POTENTIAL FOOD FOR BENTHOS?
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Research on bacterial extracellular polymers (EPS) has shown that soluble EPS can be utilized by several deposit-feeders and that bioavailability depends on the composition and structure of the polymer. However, feeding studies have most often used laboratory-cultured EPS that is not representative of EPS found in naturally occurring biofilms. Before we can determine whether these exudates have a nutritional role in marine sediments it is necessary to characterize their occurrence. In this study, sediment cores were collected from two estuarine sites (a subtidal mudflat and a cyanobacterial mat community) to determine the abundance and chemical composition of naturally occurring EPS. Differences in EPS concentration, its composition, and macrofaunal community structure were compared between sites. This study sought to examine if the EPS present was in a form or quantity that was trophically important for the deposit-feeders present.