THE EFFECTS OF TETRAKIS (HYDROXYMETHYL) PHOSPHONIUM CHLORIDE (THPC) ON LEAF DECOMPOSITION AND MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES.
Fire retardant chemicals are sprayed around forests to prevent fires. They have little impact on terrestrial environments, however, are toxic to aquatic environments. Adding these pollutants to freshwater systems can impact consumers negatively, but the effects are temporary. Although their impacts are known for consumers, little is known about their effects on microbial communities and ecosystem processes. Microbial communities can be important role players in the decomposition of organic matter and their diversity and distribution can regulate the early stages of the decomposition process. We used mesocosms with different concentrations of Tetrakis (hydroxymethyl) phosphonium chloride (THPC) and a control to test its impact on leaf decomposition and microbial communities. Water oak leaf packs were placed in tanks 2-weeks prior to adding THPC to allow for conditioning. After 14-d, replicates were removed to assess microbial communities and decomposition during initial conditioning. Remaining replicates were removed after 14-d with treatment and processed for decomposition and microbial colonization. We predicted that higher concentrations of THPC would inhibit microbes and slow decomposition. Preliminary results indicate that different concentrations of THPC may have differential effects on decomposition rates with the lowest concentrations yielding faster rates than controls.
Sara Alemar (Primary Presenter/Author), Georgia Southern University, email@example.com;
Checo Colon-Gaud (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Georgia Southern University, firstname.lastname@example.org;