Effects of submerged vegetation on sediment nitrogen-cycling bacterial communities in Honghu Lake (China).

Affiliation

Wu H(1), Hao B(1), Cai Y(2), Liu G(3), Xing W(4).
Author information:
(1)Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Water Quality Improvement and Ecological Restoration for Watersheds, Institute of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China; CAS Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China; Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory
(Guangzhou), Guangzhou 511458, China.
(2)Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Water Quality Improvement and Ecological Restoration for Watersheds, Institute of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China; Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory
(Guangzhou), Guangzhou 511458, China.
(3)CAS Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China; Center for Plant Ecology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China.
(4)CAS Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China; Center for Plant Ecology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Sediment nitrogen (N) cycling is an important biological removal process for N permanently and driven by N-cycling microbial community. There is a growing interest in interactions between submerged vegetation (SV) and sediment N-cycling bacterial community, because of the close link between rooted aquatic plants and the sediment microbes. However, the effects of SV on the sediment N-cycling bacterial community are still controversial. Furthermore, the discrimination of direct and indirect effects of SV on the N-cycling bacterial community remains unclear. Here, we investigated the biomass and species richness of SV and determined the corresponding environment factors (water quality and sediment properties) in Honghu Lake (China). We also used functional genes as markers to unveil the bacterial diversity and community composition and abundance in lake sediments. Our results showed that biomass and species richness of SV affected the composition, diversity and abundance of sediment N-cycling bacterial communities through improving lake water quality and sediment properties. With the increasing richness and abundance of SV, the diversity of most N-cycling bacterial assemblages including nitrifying, denitrifying and DNRA bacteria decreased, while the abundance increased. However, the anammox bacterial assemblage in sediments showed inverse trends. Sediment carbon vs. nitrogen (C:N) ratio negatively affected the abundance of amoA and nirS + nirK + nosZ bacterial assemblages. Additionally, due to the presence of SV, positive interactions among N-cycling bacterial assemblages were found, such as amoA and nrfA bacterial assemblages. Overall, our findings confirmed the significant effects of SV on the N-cycling bacterial community structure and abundance. Moreover, the direct effects of SV on the N-cycling bacterial community and the indirect effects through altering the sediment C were clarified in our study. Our results casted a new light on the negative effects of high C:N ratio. From the study, we made a conclusion that the better SV develops, the greater nitrogen removal occurs in lake sediments.