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Basin-Wide Analysis of the Dynamics of Fecal Contamination andFecal Source Identification in Tillamook Bay, Oregon

The objectives of this study were to elucidate spatial and temporal   dynamics in source-specific Bacteroidales 16S rRNA genetic marker   data across a watershed; to compare these dynamics to fecal   indicator counts, general measurements of water quality, and   climatic forces; and to identify geographic areas of intense  exposure to specific sources of contamination. Samples were   collected during a 2-year period in the Tillamook basin in Oregon at   3  sites along five river tributaries and in Tillamook Bay. We   performed Bacteroidales PCR assays with general, ruminant-source-  specific, and human-source-specific primers to identify fecal   sources. We determined the Escherichia coli most probable number,   temperature, turbidity, and 5-day precipitation. Climate and water   quality data collectively supported a rainfall runoff pattern for   microbial source input that mirrored the annual precipitation cycle.   Fecal sources were statistically linked more closely to ruminants   than to humans; there was a 4 % greater probability of detecting a   ruminant source marker than a human source marker across the basin.   On a sample site basis, the addition of fecal source tracking data   provided new information linking elevated fecal indicator bacterial   loads to specific point and nonpoint sources of fecal pollution in   the basin. Inconsistencies in E. coli and host-specific marker   trends suggested that the factors that control the quantity of fecal   indicators in the water column are different than the factors that   influence the presence of Bacteroidales markers at specific times of   the year. This may be important if fecal indicator counts are used   as a criterion for source loading potential in receiving waters.    (microbial source tracking); (MST); (bacterial source tracking);   (BST)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Orin ShanksPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 1 projects
Katherine FieldResearcher
Associated with 2 projects
Christopher NietchResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Michael SimonichResearcher
Associated with 1 projects

Funding 1 projects for a total of $0.00
US EPA $ 0.00USDEstimates

Funding 3 projects for a total of $35,800.00
NOAA $ 0.00USDEstimates

Funding 11 projects for a total of $502,508.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Land Use and Habitat
Resource Being Monitored
Human Health

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