Microbial Ecology

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 160–169 | Cite as

Shifts in Microbial Community Composition Following Surface Application of Dredged River Sediments

  • Dovile Baniulyte
  • Emmanuel Favila
  • John J. Kelly
Original Article


Sediment input to the Illinois River has drastically decreased river depth and reduced habitats for aquatic organisms. Dredging is being used to remove sediment from the Illinois River, and the dredged sediment is being applied to the surface of a brownfield site in Chicago with the goal of revegetating the site. In order to determine the effects of this drastic habitat change on sediment microbial communities, we examined sediment physical, chemical, and microbial characteristics at the time of sediment application to the soil surface as well as 1 and 2 years after application. Microbial community biomass was determined by measurement of lipid phosphate. Microbial community composition was assessed using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of 16S rRNA genes, and clone library sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Results indicated that the moisture content, organic carbon, and total nitrogen content of the sediment all decreased over time. Total microbial biomass did not change over the course of the study, but there were significant changes in the composition of the microbial communities. PLFA analysis revealed relative increases in fungi, actinomycetes, and Gram positive bacteria. T-RFLP analysis indicated a significant shift in bacterial community composition within 1 year of application, and clone library analysis revealed relative increases in Proteobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, and Bacteriodetes and relative decreases in Acidobacteria, Spirochaetes, and Planctomycetes. These results provide insight into microbial community shifts following land application of dredged sediment.


Microbial Community Clone Library Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Microbial Community Composition Bacterial Community Composition 
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 work was supported by a grant to JJK from the Illinois Waste Management and Research Center of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. DB was supported by funding from the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy at Loyola University Chicago and the Loyola University Mulcahy Scholar’s Program. The authors thank John C. Marlin from the Waste Management and Research Center for establishing the treatment plots and for providing access to the site. The authors also thank Max Haggblom for assistance with PLFA analysis and Martin Berg for assistance with MDS analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dovile Baniulyte
    • 1
  • Emmanuel Favila
    • 1
  • John J. Kelly
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyLoyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Center for Urban Environmental Research and PolicyLoyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA

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