Defense Date

12-3-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Type

Master of Science

Degree Name

Marine Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Jose Lopez, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Bernhard Riegl, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Cole Easson, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Lauren Krausfeldt, Ph.D.

Abstract

A pilot project was deployed in Port Everglades Inlet, Florida that aimed to evaluate the biofilm composing the microbiome on ecologically engineered artificial substrates used to build Coastal Marine Infrastructure. In April of 2017, an Articulated Concrete Block Mattress comprised of an ecological engineered concrete substrate and a standard smooth surface control substrates were compared. This study will provide a profile on the microbiome community on artificial substrates within Port Everglades Inlet on bio-enhancing concrete-based solutions in our Coastal Marine Infrastructure. To study the microbial community, the 16s rRNA technology was used in Illumina’s high-throughput DNA sequencing. Samples were collected once a month from December 2017 to November 2018. Total read count of 7.8 million were produced which yielded 10,251 Amplicon Sequence Variants. Results indicated a homogenous composition over most of the study site for both alpha and beta diversity. Differences in beta diversity were seen when comparing the different types of surface area. There were moderate and significant differences from the analysis of similarity (R = 0.133, p = 0.001) for all surface areas. Species diversity varied by season but only slightly. The environmental metadata that had an impact on the microbial community was temperature, conductivity, and pH. Increased microbial abundance was seen in the late summer months, which is likely to be expected with the increased precipitation and temperature at that time of year. This study will help characterize the microbial communities composing the biofilms and can also be used as baseline for the surrounding coastal marine environment.

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