The investigation of stream leaf litter decomposition and the associated anaerobic cellulolytic bacterial populations
The microbial Population of stream leaf litter was examined during the fall and winter of 1976 in Bell Creek, Delaware County, Indiana. Nylon-mesh bags containing leaves were placed in the creek and allowed to become colonized by bacteria and fungi. Of special interest was the enumeration and identification of cellulolytic anaerobic bacteria. This study revealed the presence of these bacteria in all sample cases. These bacteria were generally identified as belonging to the genus Clostridium. Two species of cellulolytic pseudomonads were also isolated. Non-cellulolytic bacteria belonging to the genera Flavobacterium and Beijerinckia were isolated. These aerobic organisms may function indirectly in cellulose degradation by removing toxic byproducts or growth limiting factors.