The population dynamics of bacterial able to be cultured under sulphate reducing condition was studied in conjunction with changes in aquifer geochemistry using multivariate statistics for two contrasting Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) techniques at two different geographical locations (Perth, Western Australia and Adelaide, South Australia). Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to investigate spatial and temporal changes in the overall chemical signature of the aquifers using an array of chemical analytes which demonstrated a migrating geochemical plume. Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) using DNA from sulphate-reducing bacteria cultures was used to detect spatial and temporal changes in population dynamics. Bacterial and geochemical evidence suggested that groundwater at greatest distance from the nutrient source was least affected by treated effluent recharge. The results suggested that bacterial populations that were able to be cultured in sulphate reducing media responded to the migrating chemical gradient and to the changes in aquifer geochemistry. Most noticeably, sulphate-reducing bacterial populations associated with the infiltration galleries were stable in community structure over time. Additionally, the biodiversity of these culturable bacteria was restored when aquifer geochemistry returned to ambient conditions during the recovery phase at the Adelaide Aquifer Storage and Recovery site.

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