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SHORT-TERM MICROBIAL EFFECTS OF A LARGE-SCALE MINE-TAILING STORAGE FACILITY COLLAPSE ON THE LOCAL NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
Garris, H.W., S.A. Baldwin, J. Taylor, D.B. Gurr, D.R. Denesiuk, J.D. Van Hamme, and L.H. Fraser.
PLoS ONE 13(4):article e0196032(2018)

To investigate the impacts of the Mount Polley tailings impoundment failure on chemical, physical, and microbial properties of substrates within the affected watershed, a biomonitoring network was established two months following the disturbance to evaluate riparian and wetland substrates for microbial community composition and function via 16S and full metagenome sequencing. A total of 234 samples were collected from substrates at 3 depths, and 1,650,752 sequences were recorded in a geodatabase framework. Substrates associated with the impact zone were distinct chemically as indicated by elevated pH, nitrate, and sulfate. The most impacted area (a 6-km stream connecting two lakes) exhibited 30% lower microbial diversity relative to the remaining sites. Field experimentation is underway to evaluate the potential for biostimulation and biomagnification to promote beneficial microbial activity in the deposited tailings.https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196032



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