Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

R/IS-06 A

Measuring the transfer, dynamics, and risk of invasion for microbial communities associated with ballast water of ships

Principal Investigator: 

Gregory M. Ruiz

Start/End Year: 

1998 to 2001

Institution: 

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Co-Principal investigator: 

Fred C. Dobbs, Old Dominion University; Anson H. Hines, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Description: 

Our overall objective is to characterize the transfer, dynamics, and potential to invade for microbial communities associated with ballast water of ships. More specifically, our study will: Measure the abundance, biomass, growth and carbon-source utilization patterns of bacteria that arrive in ballast water as a function of source region, voyage duration, and specific water characteristics (e.g., temperature, salinity, macro-plankton abundance and diversity); Measure changes in microbial community characteristics of ballast water during voyages, including the effects of current ballast management practices on these communities; Measure the specificity and functional relationships between Vibrio spp. and selected macrozooplankton species; Assess the invasibility of Chesapeake Bay to microbial organisms (especially Vibrio spp.) that arrive in ballast water.