Accueil > Publications > Recherche par années > Années 1990 > 1994

Westall, F ; Rince, Y

Biofilms, microbial mats and microbe particle interactions - electron-microscope observations from diatomaceous sediments

Sedimentology 41 (1) 147-162

par Administrateur - publié le

Abstract :

Sediments and diatoms from the mudflats of the Bay of Bourgneuf in western France were examined in an electron microscope study of biofilms and microbial mats. The sediments were kept in an aquarium for study and a diatom culture was made of the benthic diatoms. The sediment biofilm was composed of exopolymeric substances (EPS), incorporated clay particles and, rarely, bacteria. This film coated all particles at the sediment-water interface. Its surface morphology reflected its composition and internal structure. Thin films were smooth, whilst a lumpy structure or incorporated fibrils produced either a mammillated or ropy surface, and clays in the structure gave rise to a flaky morphology. At shallow depths in the sediment column (0.5 cm) the biofilm was already degraded. The biofilm coating degraded diatom frustules in the benthic diatom culture consisted of EPS and bacteria and presented a ragged appearance.