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Scanning electron microscopy was employed for the investigation of bacteria living on sand grains in a sandy marine beach in the Gulf of Gdańsk (southern Baltic Sea). Bacteria colonize the sand grains; individual topography and shape of the grains were decisive for the colonization. Grains of diverse topography characterised by a great irregularity of shape were preferred, and protected surface sites were favoured. Many of the attached bacteria were found to produce polymer secretions; entire colonies attached by means of polymer nets were observed. A significant morphological diversity of bacteria in the vertical profile of the beach was determined. Bacteria inhabiting the sand grains showed the ability to reproduces.
Key words: Baltic Sea, beach, sand grains, bacteria