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Subsea tunnel reinforced sprayed concrete subjected to deterioration harbours distinct microbial communities

Journal article
Authors S. Karačić
B. M. Wilén
Carolina Suarez
P. Hagelia
F. Persson
Published in Biofouling
Volume 34
Issue 10
Pages 1161-1174
ISSN 0892-7014
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 1161-1174
Language en
Keywords 16S rRNA gene sequences, biocorrosion, Concrete deterioration, iron-oxidising bacteria, microbial community structure, nitrogen converting microorganisms
Subject categories Biological Sciences


Deterioration of concrete is a large societal cost. In the Oslofjord subsea tunnel (Norway), deterioration of sprayed concrete and corrosion of reinforcing steel fibres occur under biofilm formed at sites with intrusion of saline groundwater. In this study, the microbial community structure, in situ environmental gradients and chemical composition of the biofilms were examined at three tunnel sites. Ammonia- and nitrite-oxidising microorganisms, in particular Nitrosopumilus sp., and iron-oxidising bacteria within Mariprofundus sp., were omnipresent, together with a diversity of presumably heterotrophic bacteria. Alpha- and beta diversity measures showed significant differences in richness and community structure between the sites as well as over time and null-models suggested that deterministic factors were important for the community assembly. The superficial flow of water over the biofilm had a strong effect on oxygen penetration in the biofilm and was identified as one major environmental gradient that varied between the sites, likely being important for shaping the microbial communities. © 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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