Incorporation and mineralization of TNT and other anthropogenic organics by natural microbial assemblages from a small, tropical estuary

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Abstract

2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT) metabolism was compared across salinity transects in Kahana Bay, a small tropical estuary on Oahu, HI. In surface water, TNT incorporation rates (range: 3-121 μg C L-1 d-1) were often 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than mineralization rates suggesting that it may serve as organic nitrogen for coastal microbial assemblages. These rates were often an order of magnitude more rapid than those for RDX and two orders more than HMX. During average or high stream flow, TNT incorporation was most rapid at the riverine end member and generally decreased with increasing salinity. This pattern was not seen during low flow periods. Although TNT metabolism was not correlated with heterotrophic growth rate, it may be related to metabolism of other aromatic compounds. With most TNT ring-carbon incorporation efficiencies at greater than 97%, production of new biomass appears to be a more significant product of microbial TNT metabolism than mineralization. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

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Montgomery, M. T., Coffin, R. B., Boyd, T. J., & Osburn, C. L. (2013). Incorporation and mineralization of TNT and other anthropogenic organics by natural microbial assemblages from a small, tropical estuary. Environmental Pollution, 174, 257–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2012.11.036

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