Factors affecting the spatial and temporal distribution of E. coli in intertidal estuarine sediments
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Microbiological water quality monitoring of bathing waters does not account for faecal indicator organisms in sediments. Intertidal deposits are a significant reservoir of FIOs and this indicates there is a substantial risk to bathers through direct contact with the sediment, or through the resuspension of bacteria to the water column. Recent modelling efforts include sediment as a secondary source of contamination, however, little is known about the driving factors behind spatial and temporal variation in FIO abundance. E. coli abundance, in conjunction with a wide range of measured variables, was used to construct models to explain E. coli abundance in intertidal sediments in two Scottish estuaries. E. coli concentrations up to 6 log10 CFU 100 g dry wt-1 were observed, with optimal models accounting for E. coli variation up to an adjusted R2 of 0.66. Introducing more complex models resulted in overfitting of models, detrimentally effected the transferability of models between datasets. Salinity was the most important single variable, with season, pH, colloidal carbohydrates, organic content, bulk density and maximum air temperature also featuring in optimal models. Transfer of models, using only lower cost variables, between systems explained an average deviance of 42 %. This study demonstrates the potential for cost-effective sediment characteristic monitoring to contribute to FIO fate and transport modelling and consequently the risk assessment of bathing water safety.
Wyness , A J , Paterson , D M , Mendo , T , Defew , E C , Stutter , M I & Avery , L M 2019 , ' Factors affecting the spatial and temporal distribution of E. coli in intertidal estuarine sediments ' , Science of the Total Environment , vol. 661 , pp. 155-167 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.061
Science of the Total Environment
© 2019, Published by Elsevier BV. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher's policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.061
DescriptionFunding: University of St Andrews, The James Hutton Institute. DMP received funding from the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS), funded by the Scottish Funding Council (grant reference HR09011).
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