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Applied and Environmental Microbiology


The fecal indicator bacterial species Escherichia coli is an important measure of water quality and a leading cause of impaired surface waters. We investigated the impact of the filter-feeding metazooplankton Daphnia magna on the inactivation of E. coli. The E. coli clearance rates of these daphnids were calculated from a series of batch experiments conducted under variable environmental conditions. Batch system experiments of 24 to 48 h in duration were completed to test the impacts of bacterial concentration, organism density, temperature, and water type. The maximum clearance rate for adult D. magna organisms was 2 ml h1 organism1. Less than 5% of E. coli removed from water by daphnids was recoverable from excretions. Sorption of E. coli on daphnid carapaces was not observed. As a comparison, the clearance rates of the freshwater rotifer Branchionus calyciflorus were also calculated for select conditions. The maximum clearance rate for B. calyciflorus was 6 104 ml h1 organism1. This research furthers our understanding of the impacts of metazooplankton predation on E. coli inactivation and the effects of environmental variables on filter feeding. Based on our results, metazooplankton can play an important role in the reduction of E. coli in natural treatment systems under environmentally relevant conditions


E. coli, filter-feeding, zooplankton








© 2019 American Society for Microbiology.


Archived as published.

Open Access.



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