Aquatic Biofilms and Biogeochemical Processes
Laura Leff, Jonathon B. Van Gray, Eugènia Martí, Stephanie N. Merbt and Anna M. Romaní
from: Aquatic Biofilms: Ecology, Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment (Edited by: Anna M. Romaní, Helena Guasch and M. Dolors Balaguer). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2016) Pages: 89-108.
In this chapter, we discuss the biogeochemistry of biofilms with an emphasis on the unique features of biofilms that impact oxidation-reduction reactions, such as retention of materials (nutrients, organic molecules, including enzymes), shortened uptake lengths, inter-cellular interactions due to proximity of the organisms, and redox gradients over short spatial distances. Our focus is on carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus with some inclusion of micronutrients. The role of biofilm structure and microbial community composition (including algal-bacterial relationships) in determining the spatiotemporal variations in biogeochemistry is discussed as well as the spatial scales of biogeochemical reactions within biofilms. Methods for measuring biogeochemical processes and environmental conditions in biofilms are reviewed, from molecular tools and fine scale measurements, to large scale biogeochemical measurements in flumes and mesocosms or natural systems. The relevance of the spatial scale is highlighted as well as the challenge for scaling-up of methods read more ...