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Schiperski F.,TU Berlin | Zirlewagen J.,TU Berlin | Hillebrand O.,University of Gottingen | Nodler K.,University of Gottingen | And 3 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

Karst aquifers are known to be highly vulnerable to contamination due to their particular hydraulic characteristics. A number of parameters (such as turbidity, dissolved organic matter concentration, particle size distribution) have been proposed as proxies that can be used to detect changes in water quality or contamination of karst springs. However, most of these are not very specific concerning the source of any contamination. Organic micropollutants (OMPs) such as artificial sweeteners or herbicides are possible source-specific indicators that can be used in karst catchment areas, but real time monitoring is not as yet possible for these compounds. We have investigated the possibility of combining the source-specific features of OMPs with real-time measurements of electrical conductivity (EC) and turbidity by means of ECturbidity hysteresis plots. These plots allow for identifying different hydro-sedimentary processes. Our investigations were carried out at the Gallusquelle karst spring in south-west Germany, during high flow conditions that occurred in 2013 after heavy precipitation. The herbicide atrazine, which derives from the aquifer matrix, was detectable in the spring water until resuspended particles appeared at the spring. The herbicide metazachlor, which is present in recharge from cropland, was found to be associated with periods of direct transfer of particles originating from the land surface. The artificial sweetener cyclamate was used as a wastewater indicator, but neither hysteresis plots of EC and turbidity nor any other real-time parameters were able to detect the presence of cyclamate following a wastewater spill. Since EC and turbidity are easily measurable parameters, the systematic relationships of ECturbidity hysteresis behavior to OMPs might assist in the sustainable management of raw water within karst catchments. © 2015 Elsevier B.V..


Zirlewagen J.,TU Berlin | Licha T.,University of Gottingen | Schiperski F.,TU Berlin | Nodler K.,Water Technology Center Karlsruhe | Scheytt T.,TU Berlin
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2016

The identification and differentiation of different sources of contamination are crucial aspects of risk assessment in water resource protection. This is especially challenging in karst environments due to their highly heterogeneous flow fields. We have investigated the use of two artificial sweeteners, cyclamate and acesulfame, as an indicator set for contamination by wastewater within the rural catchment of a karst spring. The catchment was investigated in detail to identify the sources of artificial sweeteners and quantify their impact. Spring water was analysed following two different but typical recharge events: (1) a rain-on-snow event in winter, when no wastewater overflow from the sewer system was observed, and (2) an intense rainfall event in summer triggering an overflow from a stormwater detention basin. Acesulfame, which is known to be persistent, was quantified in all spring water samples. Its concentrations decreased after the winter event with no associated wastewater spillage but increased during the summer event following a recent input of untreated wastewater. Cyclamate, which is known to be degradable, was only detected following the wastewater inflow incident. The cyclamate signal matched very well the breakthrough of faecal indicator bacteria, indicating a common origin. Knowing the input function, cyclamate was used quantitatively as a tracer in transport modelling and the impact of 'combined sewer overflow' on spring water quality was quantified. Signals from artificial sweeteners were compared to those from bulk parameters (discharge, electrical conductivity and turbidity) and also to those from the herbicides atrazine and isoproturon, which indicate 'old' and 'fresh' flow components, respectively, both originating from croplands. High concentration levels of the artificial sweeteners in untreated wastewater (cyclamate and acesulfame) and in treated wastewater (acesulfame only) make them powerful indicators, especially in rural settings where wastewater input is relatively low, and in karst systems where dilution is often high. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Thiel V.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Thiel V.,Pennsylvania State University | Hugler M.,Water Technology Center Karlsruhe | Blumel M.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | And 10 more authors.
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2012

Vestimentiferan tubeworms (siboglinid polychetes) of the genus Lamellibrachia are common members of cold seep faunal communities and have also been found at sedimented hydrothermal vent sites in the Pacific. As they lack a digestive system, they are nourished by chemoautotrophic bacterial endosymbionts growing in a specialized tissue called the trophosome. Here we present the results of investigations of tubeworms and endosymbionts from a shallow hydrothermal vent field in the Western Mediterranean Sea. The tubeworms, which are the first reported vent-associated tubeworms outside the Pacific, are identified as Lamellibrachia anaximandri using mitochondrial ribosomal and cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene sequences. They harbor a single gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont. Carbon isotopic data, as well as the analysis of genes involved in carbon and sulfur metabolism indicate a sulfide-oxidizing chemoautotrophic endosymbiont. The detection of a hydrogenase gene fragment suggests the potential for hydrogen oxidation as alternative energy source. Surprisingly, the endosymbiont harbors genes for two different carbon fixation pathways, the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle as well as the reductive tricarboxylic acid (rTCA) cycle, as has been reported for the endosymbiont of the vent tubeworm Riftia pachyptila. In addition to RubisCO genes we detected ATP citrate lyase (ACL - the key enzyme of the rTCA cycle) type II gene sequences using newly designed primer sets. Comparative investigations with additional tubeworm species (Lamellibrachia luymesi, Lamellibrachia sp. 1, Lamellibrachia sp. 2, Escarpia laminata, Seepiophila jonesi) from multiple cold seep sites in the Gulf of Mexico revealed the presence of acl genes in these species as well. Thus, our study suggests that the presence of two different carbon fixation pathways, the CBB cycle and the rTCA cycle, is not restricted to the Riftia endosymbiont, but rather might be common in vestimentiferan tubeworm endosymbionts, regardless of the habitat.© 2012 Thiel, Hügler, Blümel, Baumann, Gärtner, Schmaljohann, Strauss, Garbe-Schönberg, Petersen, Cowart, Fisher and Imhoff.


Henneberg A.,University of Tubingen | Bender K.,University of Frankfurt am Main | Blaha L.,Masaryk University | Giebner S.,University of Frankfurt am Main | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Many studies about endocrine pollution in the aquatic environment reveal changes in the reproduction system of biota. We analysed endocrine activities in two rivers in Southern Germany using three approaches: (1) chemical analyses, (2) in vitro bioassays, and (3) in vivo investigations in fish and snails. Chemical analyses were based on gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. For in vitro analyses of endocrine potentials in water, sediment, and waste water samples, we used the E-screen assay (human breast cancer cells MCF-7) and reporter gene assays (human cell line HeLa-9903 and MDA-kb2). In addition, we performed reproduction tests with the freshwater mudsnail Potamopyrgus antipodarum to analyse water and sediment samples. We exposed juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta f. fario) to water downstream of a wastewater outfall (Schussen River) or to water from a reference site (Argen River) to investigate the vitellogenin production. Furthermore, two feral fish species, chub (Leuciscus cephalus ) and spirlin (Alburnoides bipunctatus), were caught in both rivers to determine their gonadal maturity and the gonadosomatic index. Chemical analyses provided only little information about endocrine active substances, whereas the in vitro assays revealed endocrine potentials in most of the samples. In addition to endocrine potentials, we also observed toxic potentials (E-screen/reproduction test) in waste water samples, which could interfere with and camouflage endocrine effects. The results of our in vivo tests were mostly in line with the results of the in vitro assays and revealed a consistent reproduction-disrupting (reproduction tests) and an occasional endocrine action (vitellogenin levels) in both investigated rivers, with more pronounced effects for the Schussen river (e.g. a lower gonadosomatic index). We were able to show that biological in vitro assays for endocrine potentials in natural stream water reasonably reflect reproduction and endocrine disruption observed in snails and field-exposed fish, respectively. © 2014 Henneberg et al.


Goletz C.,Water Technology Center Karlsruhe | Goletz C.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Wagner M.,Water Technology Center Karlsruhe | Grubel A.,Water Technology Center Karlsruhe | And 3 more authors.
Talanta | Year: 2011

Fluorescence excitation-emission-matrices (EEM) are a useful tool for water quality monitoring. Recent publications show the potential of the method for real time drinking water control. However, in fluorescence measurements there is still a need for standardization to make data interpretation comparable. In this work a standardization procedure based on excitation and emission correction as well as normalization and optional inner filter effect correction is presented. By measurements of humic acid and tryptophan standards with two different spectrometers (LS 50 and LS 55 by PerkinElmer) the procedure application leads to comparable fluorescence intensities with relative standard deviations (median) of 6.6-8.4% and 10.6-12.0%, respectively. These small differences are not avoidable even if all possible correction methods are implemented and constant measurement conditions are given. The used BAM kit for emission correction induced good agreement in peak shape not only for single wavelengths but also for the whole EEM. As a consequence it is necessary to use identical equipment and identical experimental conditions in order to apply this method in fields of water quality control if small changes of fluorescence intensities are relevant for data assessment. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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