Microbial Community Response on Wastewater Discharge in Boreal Lake Sediments
Saarenheimo, J., Aalto, S. L., Rissanen, A. J., & Tiirola, M. (2017). Microbial Community Response on Wastewater Discharge in Boreal Lake Sediments. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8(April), Article 750. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.00750
Published inFrontiers in Microbiology
© 2017 Saarenheimo, Aalto, Rissanen and Tiirola. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).
Despite high performance, municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) still discharge significant amounts of organic material and nitrogen and even microbes into the receiving water bodies, altering physico-chemical conditions and microbial functions. In this study, we examined how nitrified wastewater affects the microbiology of boreal lake sediments. Microbial community compositions were assessed with next generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and a more detailed view on nitrogen transformation processes was gained with qPCR targeting on functional genes (nirS, nirK, nosZI , nosZII, amoAarchaea, and amoAbacteria). In both of the two studied lake sites, the microbial community composition differed significantly between control point and wastewater discharge point, and a gradual shift toward natural community composition was seen downstream following the wastewater gradient. SourceTracker analysis predicted that ∼2% of sediment microbes were of WWTP-origin on the study site where wastewater was freely mixed with the lake water, while when wastewater was specially discharged to the sediment surface, ∼6% of microbes originated from WWTP, but the wastewater-influenced area was more limited. In nitrogen transformation processes, the ratio between nitrifying archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) was affected by wastewater effluent, as the AOA abundance decreased from the control point (AOA:AOB 28:1 in Keuruu, 11:1 in Petäjävesi) to the wastewater-influenced sampling points, where AOB dominated (AOA:AOB 1:2–1:15 in Keuruu, 1:3–1:19 in Petäjävesi). The study showed that wastewater can affect sediment microbial community through importing nutrients and organic material and altering habitat characteristics, but also through bringing wastewater-originated microbes to the sediment, and may thus have significant impact on the freshwater biogeochemistry, especially in the nutrient-poor boreal ecosystems. ...
PublisherFrontiers Research Foundation
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Related funder(s)European Commission
Funding program(s)FP7 (EU's 7th Framework Programme)
The content of the publication reflects only the author’s view. The funder is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Additional information about fundingThe work was supported by the funding of Academy of Finland project 260797, European Union project LIFE12 ENV/FI/597 (N-SINK) and European Research Council (ERC) CoG project 615146 for MT.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2017 Saarenheimo, Aalto, Rissanen and Tiirola. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).
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