Changing Bacterial Growth Efficiencies across a Natural Nutrient Gradient in an Oligotrophic Estuary Thesis

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Kiger, Amber A


  • Recent studies have characterized coastal estuarine systems as important components of the global carbon cycle. This study investigated carbon cycling through the microbial loop of Florida Bay by use of bacterial growth efficiency calculations. Bacterial production, bacterial respiration, and other environmental parameters were measured at three sites located along a historic phosphorus-limitation gradient in Florida Bay and compared to a relatively nutrient enriched site in Biscayne Bay. A new method for measuring bacterial respiration in oligotrophic waters involving tracing respiration of 13C-glucose was developed. The results of the study indicate that 13C tracer assays may provide a better means of measuring bacterial respiration in low nutrient environments than traditional dissolved oxygen consumption-based methods due to strong correlations between incubation length and δ13C values. Results also suggest that overall bacterial growth efficiency may be lower at the most nutrient limited sites.

publication date

  • March 27, 2015


  • Bacterial Growth Efficiency
  • Bacterial Production
  • Bacterial Respiration
  • Florida Bay
  • Stable Isotopes

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)