Date of Award
Master of Science - Environmental Sciences
Dr. Stephen Wagner
Dr. Kenneth Farrish
Dr. David Creech
Dr. Josephine Taylor
Dr. Melinda Faulkner
After Hurricane Ike in 2008, Galveston Island was flooded with sea water that left the soil and groundwater of the island with elevated sodium concentrations. As part of a long-term study that aims to restore plant life to the island, various soil amelioration techniques are being evaluated. Samples from bedded and non- bedded plots treated with gypsum, mulch, or both were assessed for microbial populations. Samples collected in July and October 2016 were cultured on Tryptic Soy Agar (bacteria enumeration), Pseudomonas Agar, Actinomycete Agar, and Rose Bengal Agar (fungi enumeration). Bacteria populations ranged from 4.07 to 5.12 log CFU/gram and from 3.73 to 4.26, pseudomonads from 4.09 to 5.21 and from 3.76 to 4.28, actinomycetes from 4.14 to 5.22 and from 3.87 to 4.32, and fungi from 3.27 to 3.58 and from 3.09 to 3.71 in summer then fall, respectively. There were no consistent statistical differences in microbial populations among the treatments. Respiration measurements were also compared with no differences. Samples collected from control plots in January 2017 were cultured on Pseudomonas Agar amended with 0, 5, and 10 percent salt. No statistical differences were found. Sixteen isolates were characterized and preserved for future study. The study indicates no discernible effects on microbial populations in the soil from any of the soil amelioration techniques tested.
Fowler, Elaine, "Assessment and Characterization of Microbial Communities in Salt Affected Soils on Galveston Island" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 76.
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