Effect of increasing conductivity on nitrification rates and microbial function in stream systems
Salinization in fresh water systems has significantly impacted microbes’ ability to perform ecosystem services. In this study, changes in nitrification rates across increasing conductivity as well as between two stream systems in Blacksburg, VA, are observed. Variation in nitrification rates were found to increase with conductivity; however, conductivity was ultimately found to be a poor predictor of nitrification efficiency. Overall, the project revealed that pulse salting events have a more predominant effect on nitrification due to the chemical alteration of river sediment than rather than inhibited microbial performance.