Microbial Ecology

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 487–496 | Cite as

Culturable Airborne Bacteria in Outdoor Environments in Beijing, China

  • Zhiguo Fang
  • Zhiyun OuyangEmail author
  • Hua Zheng
  • Xiaoke Wang
  • Lifeng Hu


Airborne bacteria are important biological components of bioaerosol and play an important role in ecosystem. Bacteria at a high concentration in the atmosphere can result in biological air pollution and all kinds of diseases. In this study, a systematical survey on the culturable airborne bacteria was carried out for 1 year at three sites in Beijing urban area. Results showed that concentrations of culturable bacteria ranged from 71 colony forming units (CFU)/m3 to 22,100 CFU/m3, and the mean was 2,217 CFU/m3. Bacterial concentrations at the human activity-enriched site (RCEES) and the highly trafficked site (XZM) were virtually the same point. They were significantly higher than those at the greener site (BBG). Significant variation in bacterial concentrations in different seasons was observed at RCEES and XZM with higher concentrations in summer and autumn. In a single day, significantly lower concentrations were detected at 13:00 hours through all sampling sites. In this study, 165 species in 47 genera of culturable bacteria were identified. Micrococcus was one of the most dominant bacterial groups and contributed to approximately 20∼30% of the total bacterial concentration, followed by Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Corynebacterium, and Pseudomonas. The bacterial species with a high concentration percentage included Micrococcus luteus and Micrococcus roseus.


Sampling Site Corynebacterium Outdoor Environment Culturable Bacterium Bacterial Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was financially supported by the Project of Knowledge Innovation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KZCX3-SW-424). The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge Haicun Gao, from the Institute for Environmental Genomics (IEG), Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma in the USA, who made technical and grammatical revision for this article successful. The authors also thank other graduate students and teachers who provided their valuable suggestions in our research group and in the department of systems ecology in the research center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhiguo Fang
    • 1
  • Zhiyun Ouyang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hua Zheng
    • 1
  • Xiaoke Wang
    • 1
  • Lifeng Hu
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Bio-Safety Science and TechnologyHunan Agriculture UniversityChangshaChina

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