An estuary is a transition zone between freshwater and marine ecosystems, resulting in dilution of seawater. Estuaries are also considered environments of intense biological activity related to the processes of nutrient cycling. The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbial community composition along a salinity gradient in the estuary of the Cachoeira River, located in southern Bahia, Brazil. The analysis of bacterial and yeast communities was performed by determining the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis band richness. Formation of zones with similar profiles of bands was observed, and the increasing richness at the intermediate zone demonstrated a clear spatial distinction of communities depending on salinity. In addition, the dissolved oxygen content, temperature, pH, salinity, and dissolved inorganic nutrient contents (NH3(+), NO2(-), NO3(-), PO4(-)) were determined. Nutrients were distributed in similar patterns, with decreasing concentrations as the salinity increases.
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