Microbial communities in full-scale woodchip bioreactors treating aquaculture effluents
Aalto, S. L., Suurnäkki, S., von Ahnen, M., Tiirola, M., & Bovbjerg Pedersen, P. (2022). Microbial communities in full-scale woodchip bioreactors treating aquaculture effluents. Journal of Environmental Management, 301, Article 113852. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113852
Published inJournal of Environmental Management
DisciplineAkvaattiset tieteetYmpäristötiedeResurssiviisausyhteisöNanoscience CenterAquatic SciencesEnvironmental ScienceSchool of Resource WisdomNanoscience Center
© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Woodchip bioreactors are being successfully applied to remove nitrate from commercial land-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) effluents. In order to understand and optimize the overall function of these bioreactors, knowledge on the microbial communities, especially on the microbes with potential for production or mitigation of harmful substances (e.g. hydrogen sulfide; H2S) is needed. In this study, we quantified and characterized bacterial and fungal communities, including potential H2S producers and consumers, using qPCR and high throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene. We took water samples from bioreactors and their inlet and outlet, and sampled biofilms growing on woodchips and on the outlet of the three full-scale woodchip bioreactors treating effluents of three individual RAS. We found that bioreactors hosted a high biomass of both bacteria and fungi. Although the composition of microbial communities of the inlet varied between the bioreactors, the conditions in the bioreactors selected for the same core microbial taxa. The H2S producing sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) were mainly found in the nitrate-limited outlets of the bioreactors, the main groups being deltaproteobacterial Desulfobulbus and Desulfovibrio. The abundance of H2S consuming sulfate oxidizing bacteria (SOB) was 5–10 times higher than that of SRB, and SOB communities were dominated by Arcobacter and other genera from phylum Epsilonbacteraeota, which are also capable of autotrophic denitrification. Indeed, the relative abundance of potential autotrophic denitrifiers of all denitrifier sequences was even 54% in outlet water samples and 56% in the outlet biofilm samples. Altogether, our results show that the highly abundant bacterial and fungal communities in woodchip bioreactors are shaped through the conditions prevailing within the bioreactor, indicating that the bioreactors with similar design and operational settings should provide similar function even when conditions in the preceding RAS would differ. Furthermore, autotrophic denitrifiers can have a significant role in woodchip biofilters, consuming potentially produced H2S and removing nitrate, lengthening the operational age and thus further improving the overall environmental benefit of these bioreactors. ...
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland; European Commission
Funding program(s)Others, AoF; 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 BONUS for BONUS CLEANAQ project for PBP, the European Research Council (ERC) for CoG project 615146 for MT, and Academy of Finland project 310302 for SLA.
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