University of Missouri research finds that a wetland’s health can be gauged by the microbes that live in its muddy waters, according to a release from the university.
Zhiqiang Hu, an MU engineering professor, found that wetlands with a greater diversity of archaea bacteria tended to be healthier than wetlands with only a few dominating species.
Hu analyzes bacteria in water and soil samples.
The analysis could become a tool for water treatment wetland managers and restoration of wetlands. Hu said that with this knowledge it may be possible to inoculate a restored wetland with the correct bacteria to ensure its health.