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Mesophilic Actinomycetes in the natural and reconstructed sand dune vegetation zones of Fraser Island, Australia

Mesophilic Actinomycetes in the natural and reconstructed sand dune vegetation zones of Fraser Island, Australia

Microbial Ecology 54(2): 332-340

The natural coastal habitat of Fraser Island located in the State of Queensland, Australia, has been disturbed in the past for mining of the mineral sand ilmenite. Currently, there is no information available on whether these past mining disturbances have affected the distribution, diversity, and survival of beneficial soil microorganisms in the sand dunes of the island. This in turn could deleteriously affect the success of the natural regeneration, plant growth, and establishment on the sand dunes. To support ongoing restoration efforts at sites like these mesophilic actinomycetes were isolated using conventional techniques, with particular emphasis on the taxa previously reported to produce plant-growth-promoting substances and providing support to mycorrhizal fungi, were studied at disturbed sites and compared with natural sites. In the natural sites, foredunes contained higher densities of micromonosporae replaced by increasing numbers of streptomycete species in the successional dune and finally leading to complex actinomycete communities in the mature hind dunes. Whereas in the disturbed zones affected by previous mining activities, which are currently being rehabilitated, no culturable actinomycete communities were detected. These findings suggest that the paucity of beneficial microflora in the rehabilitated sand dunes may be limiting the successful colonization by pioneer plant species. Failure to establish a cover of plant species would result in the mature hind dune plants being exposed to harsh salt and climatic conditions. This could exacerbate the incidence of wind erosion, resulting in the destabilization of well-defined and vegetated successional dunal zones.

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Accession: 016357231

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 17578635

DOI: 10.1007/s00248-007-9207-4

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