Wastewater treatment plant effluent discharge decreases bacterial community diversity and network complexity in urbanized coastal sediment

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Tianjiao Dai
  • Zhiguo Su
  • Yufei Zeng
  • Yuhan Zheng
  • Huaming Guo
  • Yunfeng Yang
  • Donghui Wen

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number121122
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Pollution
Volume322
Online published18 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023

Abstract

The wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent discharge affects the microorganisms in the receiving water bodies. Despite the ecological significance of microbial communities in pollutant degradation and element cycling, how the community diversity is affected by effluent remains obscure. Here, we compared the sediment bacterial communities exposed to different intensities of WWTP effluent discharge in Hangzhou Bay, China: i) a severely polluted area that receives effluent from an industrial WWTP, ii) a moderately polluted area that receives effluent from a municipal WWTP, and iii) less affected area that inner the bay. We found that the sediment bacterial diversity decreased dramatically with pollution levels of inorganic nutrients, heavy metals, and organic halogens. Microbial community assembly model analysis revealed increased environmental selection and decreased species migration rate in the severely polluted area, resulting in high phylogenetic clustering of the bacterial communities. The ecological networks were less complex in the two WWTP effluent receiving areas than in the inner bay area, as suggested by the smaller network size and lower modularity. Fewer negative network associations were detected in the severely (6.7%) and moderately (8.3%) polluted areas than in the less affected area (16.7%), indicating more collaborative inter-species behaviors are required under stressful environmental conditions. Overall, our results reveal the fundamental impacts of WWTP effluents on the ecological processes shaping coastal microbial communities and point to the potential adverse effects of diversity loss on ecosystem functions. © 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Research Area(s)

  • Coastal microbial diversity, Ecological network, Hangzhou bay, Neutral model, Wastewater treatment plant

Citation Format(s)

Wastewater treatment plant effluent discharge decreases bacterial community diversity and network complexity in urbanized coastal sediment. / Dai, Tianjiao; Su, Zhiguo; Zeng, Yufei et al.
In: Environmental Pollution, Vol. 322, 121122, 01.04.2023.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review