SUMMARY: Measurement of the nitrate-reducing potential by bacteria in saltmarsh sediment, using a thermal gradient block incubator, revealed seasonal physiological changes in the community. A mesophilic part of the nitrate-reducing community was always present, although it achieved maximum development at the end of the summer and minimum development at the end of the winter. In contrast, a distinct psychrotrophic part of the community achieved maximum development at the end of the winter but disappeared during summer. Chemostat enrichment of nitrate-reducing bacteria at 10 °C isolated predominantly spp., but spp. predominated in enrichments at 25 °C. The observed seasonal changes might reflect differential seasonal selection of these two groups of bacteria.


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