I want to start by saying that I really don't like the term "Bio-Dredging". I think it's a little confusing, and can mislead people into thinking they're getting something they're not. But the term, short for Biological Dredging, has become the industry standard to describe the process of reducing organic sediments with large amounts of beneficial bacteria.
Beneficial bacteria occur naturally in ponds and lakes, and are the microbes responsible for processing dead organic material (i.e., decaying plant and animal matter). There are many different types of these bacteria, which work in different ways to break down organic compounds. Some of the bacteria produce enzymes that allow them to break down organic compounds and take them into their cells as nutrients. Many bacteria also perform denitrification, transforming nitrate into nitrogen gas and removing it from the pond system. They can also convert soluble phosphorus from the water column into insoluble minerals that are not available to most types of algae.
Biochemists have found ways to culture beneficial bacteria so that they can be added to ponds and lakes to accelerate the decomposition process and to remove nutrients from the aquatic system. This process is referred to as Biological Dredging. Initially, a large inoculation dose is added to get the bacterial population established, and then maintenance doses are applied to ensure that the bacteria continue to thrive. Some of the bacteria go down to the sediments in the benthic and littoral zones where they break down excess organic matter. Some of the bateria remain in the water column, where they process dead phytoplankton and soluable nutrients.
Bio-Dredging - Dredging with Bacteria? - Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist
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