Abstract by Leeza Brown
Soil pH Trends in Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian soils can be host to many different bacteria and other pathogens. Prevalent among bacteria are non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), which belong to the genus Mycobacterium. NTM are linked to pulmonary disease in humans. The occurrence of NTM varies across the Islands and is influenced by environmental factors of the soil, including a preference for acidic soils. This study measured pH values from ~500 samples from the Hawaiian islands from different regions and at different seasons. These results were compared to known rainfall patterns and soil types from the Islands. Studying these data sets, correlations can be drawn to show changes in soil pH in different regions and different seasonal periods. It was found that soils in wetter regions among the Islands have lower pH and a higher occurrence of NTM. Mapping pH and understanding seasonal and spatial changes will lead to a greater ability to access threats of Mycobacterium for given regions of the Islands.