This paper reports the findings of an investigation in which glucose mineralization by the benthic microbiota of acid-stressed Silver Lake, Ontario, Canada, was quantitated as a function of season. Attempts were also made to measure the mineralization response when the microbiota were subjected to near neutral pH conditions. Comparisons made on the basis of Vmaxvalues revealed that the heterotrophic potential varied according to season, being lowest during the winter and highest during the summer. Also, an unexpected decrease in heterotrophic potential was realized for all samplings at an experimental, circumneutral pH. These results, in combination with observed, higher bacterial cell counts at the experimental pH, indicate that a fraction of the heterotrophic population is incapable of glucose mineralization at the higher pH, and are evidence of the existence of acidophilic bacteria in acid-stressed aquatic environments. Pre-incubation studies showed that the differences in heterotrophic potentials persisted for up to 15 days, the longest pre-incubation period examined. © 1986.
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