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Towards an integrated understanding of how micro scale processes shape groundwater ecosystem functions

Schmidt, Susanne I., Cuthbert, Mark and Schwientek, Marc 2017. Towards an integrated understanding of how micro scale processes shape groundwater ecosystem functions. Science of the Total Environment 592 , pp. 215-227. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.047

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Micro scale processes are expected to have a fundamental role in shaping groundwater ecosystems and yet they remain poorly understood and under-researched. In part, this is due to the fact that sampling is rarely carried out at the scale atwhich microorganisms, and their grazers and predators, function and thus we lack essential information. While set within a larger scale framework in terms of geochemical features, supply with energy and nutrients, and exchange intensity and dynamics, the micro scale adds variability, by providing heterogeneous zones at the micro scalewhich enable awider range of redox reactions. Here we outline howunderstanding micro scale processes better may lead to improved appreciation of the range of ecosystemsfunctions taking place at all scales. Such processes are relied upon in bioremediation and we demonstrate that ecosystem modelling as well as engineering measures have to take into account, and use, understanding at the micro scale. We discuss the importance of integrating faunal processes and computational appraisals in research, in order to continue to secure sustainable water resources from groundwater.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Groundwater ecology; Temporal scale; Spatial scale; Fauna; Micro scale environment heterogeneity; Unconsolidated sediment
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0048-9697
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 March 2017
Date of Acceptance: 6 March 2017
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2018 02:33

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