Bacterial Diversity on Different Substrates at a Marine Anthropogenic Sulfide Seep

Riley Lochner


Commencement Bay was the site of many industrial sawmills that deposited tons of wood waste along the waterways. While most of the mills are no longer operational, the organic waste remains buried in the sediment. These sites have generated a rich hydrogen sulfide environment through the decomposition of the wood waste by sulfate-reducing bacteria, which release high levels of hydrogen sulfide, a potent toxin, into the sediment. Bacterial mats have been observed on soft sediment, rocks, wood, and crabs in the sulfide seeps in Commencement Bay. Previous studies have determined that each substrate has its own distinct bacterial community. The aim of this project is to further classify the bacterial diversity of these bacterial mats on different substrates and to determine if the bacterial species are changing over time.