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Onshore Wind Speed Modulates Microbial Aerosols along an Urban Waterfront

Biology Program & Environmental and Urban Studies Program, Bard College, Campus Road, PO Box 5000, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504, USA
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Box AB, Millbrook, NY 12545-0129, USA
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, City University of New York Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, NY 11367, USA
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, 60 Bigelow Drive, P.O. Box 380, East Boothbay, ME 04544, USA
Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 215;
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 6 November 2017 / Published: 9 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Particles in Atmosphere)
Wind blowing over aquatic and terrestrial surfaces produces aerosols, which include microbial aerosols. We studied the effect of onshore wind speeds on aerosol concentrations as well as total and culturable microbial aerosols (bacterial and viral) at an urban waterfront (New York, NY, United States of America). We used two distinct methods to characterize microbial aerosol responses to wind speed: A culture-based exposure-plate method measuring viable bacterial deposition near-shore (CFU accumulation rate); and a culture-independent aerosol sampler-based method measuring total bacterial and viral aerosols (cells m−3 air). While ambient coarse (>2 µm) and fine (0.3–2 µm) aerosol particle number concentrations (regulated indicators of air quality) decreased with increasing onshore wind speeds, total and depositing culturable bacterial aerosols and total viral aerosols increased. Taxonomic identification of the 16S rDNA of bacterial aerosol isolates suggested both terrestrial and aquatic sources. Wind appears to increase microbial aerosol number concentrations in the near-shore environment by onshore transport at low wind speeds (<4 m s−1), and increased local production and transport of new microbial aerosols from adjacent water surfaces at higher wind speeds (>4 m s−1). This study demonstrates a wind-modulated microbial connection between water and air in the coastal urban environment, with implications for public health management and urban microbial ecology. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteria; virus; viral particle; air quality; water quality; coastal bacteria; virus; viral particle; air quality; water quality; coastal
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dueker, M.E.; O’Mullan, G.D.; Martínez, J.M.; Juhl, A.R.; Weathers, K.C. Onshore Wind Speed Modulates Microbial Aerosols along an Urban Waterfront. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 215.

AMA Style

Dueker ME, O’Mullan GD, Martínez JM, Juhl AR, Weathers KC. Onshore Wind Speed Modulates Microbial Aerosols along an Urban Waterfront. Atmosphere. 2017; 8(11):215.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dueker, M. Elias, Gregory D. O’Mullan, Joaquín Martínez Martínez, Andrew R. Juhl, and Kathleen C. Weathers. 2017. "Onshore Wind Speed Modulates Microbial Aerosols along an Urban Waterfront" Atmosphere 8, no. 11: 215.

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