Southern South Australian groundwater microbe diversity

Renee Smith, James Paterson, Ilka Wallis, Elise Launer, Eddie Banks, Etienne Bresciani, Roger Cranswick, Shanan Tobe, Shashikanth Marri, Peter Goonan, James Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Groundwater is increasingly used globally for domestic, industrial and agricultural production. While many studies have focused on groundwater as a resource, the diverse ecosystems within are often ignored. Here, we assess 54 Southern South Australian groundwater microbial communities from the populated part of the state to assess their status and dynamics in isolated groundwater systems. We observed a strong site-to-site individuality in groundwater bacterial communities, likely due to the isolated nature of groundwater bodies leading to unique ecosystems. Rank abundance analysis indicates bacterial diversity is maintained even at low abundances and that the distribution fits classical ecological models for strong competition in resource-limited environments. Combined, our data indicates that despite overrepresentation of pollutant-associated bacterial orders in and around the Adelaide metropolitan area, microbial communities remain diverse and show little evidence of converging on a common pollutant-effected community.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfiy158
Number of pages9
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • 16S rRNA sequencing
  • Groundwater
  • Microbial ecology


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