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Heavy Metal Implications to Sediment Microbiome and Coral Reef Community

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Dimitrios Giarikos, Amy Hirons, Jose Lopez

This study aimed to provide key information to develop an ecological risk assessment to understand the impact port dredging may have on nearby coral reef communities and to help create new management and environmental dredging risk assessments. The researchers collected and analyzed sediment from Port Everglades, coral reef sites adjacent to the port, and a nearby control site. Preliminary results indicate moderate to high ecological risk to benthic organisms from heavy metal (mostly Arsenic) contaminated port sediment. The control site has a distinct microbial community suggesting that human activities have altered the port microbiomes. Next steps include analyzing the sediment collected in sediment traps placed within the port over the next year for heavy metal concentrations and microbiome profiling to determine if sedimentation (rather than sediment cores) has any heavy metal and/or bacterial contaminants. 

Last Modified:
March 1, 2024 - 4:01pm

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