MEPS 229:1-10 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/meps229001

Effects of thermal effluents from a power station on bacteria and heterotrophic nanoflagellates in coastal waters

Dong H. Choi1, Jong S. Park1, Chung Y. Hwang1, Sung H. Huh2, Byung C. Cho1,*

1School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Research Institute of Oceanography, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea
2Department of Oceanography, Pukyong National University, Pusan 608-737, Korea
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: To investigate effects of thermal effluents from a coastal power station on bacteria and heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF) in adjacent coastal waters, surface distributions of bacteria and HNF and interrelations between microbial and environmental variables were studied in November 1998 and July, August and November 1999 near Hadong Power Station, Korea. In addition, manipulation experiments with treatments of high temperature (40°C; temperature in the cooling system of the power station) and additions of hypochlorite and dilution experiments of thermal effluents with intake seawaters were carried out. Water temperature in the discharge-channel was always 5 to 10°C higher than the ambient temperature, but bacterial production, HNF abundance and grazing rates on bacteria, as well as chlorophyll a concentrations, were always lower there and increased with distance from the power station. Manipulation experiments showed that addition of hypochlorite had much more deleterious effects on bacteria and HNF (95 to 98% inhibition of bacterial production and 25 to 45% decrease in HNF abundance at 0.13 ppm of residual chlorine) than high temperature (9 to 39% inhibition of bacterial production but no inhibition of HNF abundance at 40°C). Dilutions of thermal effluents from the outlet and condenser tube with intake seawater would bring <0.03 ppm of residual chlorine, but inhibitory effects of thermal effluents on bacterial production and HNF grazing activity (23 to 69% inhibition of bacterial production and 31 to 36% inhibition of HNF grazing) were shown, indicating inhibitory potential of chlorination by-products in the discharged water on coastal microbes. Analyses of horizontal distributions of microbial variables, manipulation and dilution experiments gave consistently similar results of inhibitory effects of thermal effluents on bacteria and HNF. Our work suggests that a microbial ecological approach is useful in estimating influences of thermal pollution on microbes in aquatic environments.

KEY WORDS: Thermal effluents · Chlorination · Bacteria · Heterotrophic nanoflagellates

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