Analysis of bacterial communities around the Adventdalen Landfill site in Svalbard

Herminia Amores-Arrocha, Alex K.B. Asamoah-Asare, Joyce Opio, Alex Martin, Lewis Cuthbertson, Hannah R. Bradford, Maria Luisa Avila-Jimenez, David Pearce*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Ecosystems are often resilient enough to fully recover following a natural disturbance, or to transform into a new equilibrium favourable to the surrounding flora and fauna. However, at a local level, whether this transformation will be beneficial or not depends strongly on the level of disturbance and the available mechanisms for recovery. The Arctic, however, provides a potentially extreme environment for microbial growth and this is reflected in the microbial biodiversity, the in-situ growth rates, the biogeochemical cycling and its sensitivity to environmental change. In this study, we evaluated the current microbial biodiversity and environmental conditions around the landfill site in Adventdalen, Svalbard to identify differences across bacterial communities that might promote or accelerate naturally occurring environmental recovery. Landfill sites can induce changes in the local environment through the input of exogenous chemicals (both organic and inorganic) and microorganisms. Leachate can flow with run-off from the primary location of the landfill site due to rain, snow or ice melt and spread material into soils surrounding the site. In this study we found a strong effect of the landfill site on the bacterial diversity in the local landscape. Intervention is highly desirable to enhance the environment and improve the restoration by subtly altering the conditions at the site (such as the pH or drainage courses) and by encouraging specific groups of naturally occurring indigenous microorganisms to bioremediate the site.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1093
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2023

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