Microbial Ecology

, Volume 67, Issue 4, pp 758–768

Niche Differentiation of Ammonia-Oxidising Archaea (AOA) and Bacteria (AOB) in Response to Paper and Pulp Mill Effluent

  • G. C. J. Abell
  • D. J. Ross
  • J. Keane
  • B. H. Holmes
  • S. S. Robert
  • M. J. Keough
  • B. D. Eyre
  • J. K. Volkman
Microbiology of Aquatic Systems

DOI: 10.1007/s00248-014-0376-7

Cite this article as:
Abell, G.C.J., Ross, D.J., Keane, J. et al. Microb Ecol (2014) 67: 758. doi:10.1007/s00248-014-0376-7

Abstract

Sediment organic loading has been shown to affect estuarine nitrification and denitrification, resulting in changes to sediment biogeochemistry and nutrient fluxes detrimental to estuarine health. This study examined the effects of organic loading on nutrient fluxes and microbial communities in sediments receiving effluent from a paper and pulp mill (PPM) by applying microcosm studies and molecular microbial ecology techniques. Three sites near the PPM outfall were compared to three control sites, one upstream and two downstream of the outfall. The control sites showed coupled nitrification–denitrification with minimal ammonia release from the sediment. In contrast, the impacted sites were characterised by nitrate uptake and substantial ammonia efflux from the sediments, consistent with a decoupling of nitrification and denitrification. Analysis of gene diversity demonstrated that the composition of nitrifier communities was not significantly different at the impacted sites compared to the control sites; however, analysis of gene abundance indicated that whilst there was no difference in total bacteria, total archaea or ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) abundance between the control and impacted sites, there was a significant reduction in ammonia-oxidising bacteria (AOB) at the impacted sites. The results of this study demonstrate an effect of organic loading on estuarine sediment biogeochemistry and highlight an apparent niche differentiation between AOA and AOB.

Supplementary material

248_2014_376_MOESM1_ESM.docx (29 kb)
Table S1(DOCX 28 kb)
248_2014_376_MOESM2_ESM.docx (25 kb)
Table S2(DOCX 24 kb)
248_2014_376_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (6 kb)
Figure S1Bar plot showing geochemical analysis of sediment samples from each of the sites during the second survey. Letters indicate significant differences between sites (p < 0.05) (PDF 6 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. J. Abell
    • 1
  • D. J. Ross
    • 2
  • J. Keane
    • 2
  • B. H. Holmes
    • 1
  • S. S. Robert
    • 1
  • M. J. Keough
    • 3
  • B. D. Eyre
    • 4
  • J. K. Volkman
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO, Marine and Atmospheric Research and Wealth from Oceans, National Research FlagshipHobartAustralia
  2. 2.Institute for Marine and Antarctic StudiesTaroonaAustralia
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Centre for Coastal BiogeochemistrySouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia