, Volume 123, Issue 1–2, pp 237–250 | Cite as

Molecular and geochemical constraints on anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) in a riparian zone of the Seine Estuary (France)

  • Sebastian Naeher
  • Arnaud HuguetEmail author
  • Céline L. Roose-Amsaleg
  • Anniet M. Laverman
  • Céline Fosse
  • Moritz F. Lehmann
  • Sylvie Derenne
  • Jakob Zopfi


To expand the limited knowledge about the ecological significance of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) in continental aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, we studied community structure, abundance, and activity of anammox bacteria in soils and sediments in the wetland of Trou Deshayes, a riparian zone in the Seine Estuary, France. Combining (i) molecular analyses of the genes coding for anammox bacterial 16S rRNA and the enzyme hydrazine oxidoreductase (hzo), (ii) quantification of unique anammox bacterial membrane lipids (i.e. ladderanes), and, (iii) 15N-isotope label incubation experiments with intertidal sediments and irregularly flooded soils nearby, we demonstrated that anammox bacteria were ubiquitous in the studied wetland ecosystem. In both soils and sediments, detected anammox bacteria were related to Candidatus ‘Brocadia’. 16S rRNA genes were generally lower in the more oxygenated soils, but on the same order of magnitude (107–108 copies g−1 d.w.) as found for other river estuaries, riparian zones and agricultural soils. While the C20-ladderane fatty acid with five cyclobutane moieties (C20-[5]-FA) was found in both sediments and soils, other ladderane species were detected only in the wetland sediments. The observed differential ladderane distribution suggests intra-genus differences in the community composition of anammox bacteria between the sediments and the floodplain soils. While the abundance of anammox bacteria was significantly lower in the soils versus the sediments, the potential anammox rates were similar (≤15 and ≤22 nmol N2 d−1 g−1 w.w. sediment and soil, respectively), suggesting lower cell-specific anammox rates in the sediments. The observed potential rates of anammox were rather low, leaving canonical denitrification as the main fixed N removal pathway in this riparian zone. The relative contribution of anammox to the total N2 production (between 3 and 8 %) was similar at all sites, highlighting the dependence of the anammox process on nitrite supply from denitrification across environmental boundaries. Due to this coupling, the dependence of organotrophic denitrification on the quality and stoichiometry of OM also seems to affect the anammox bacterial community. Our results suggest that N removal and mitigation of N supply from agriculture in wetlands by anammox is limited, and much less important than denitrification.


Anammox Denitrification Ladderane 15N labelling 16S rRNA and hzo genes Riparian zone 



We thank Mark Rollog (University of Basel) for the stable isotope measurements and Veronique Vaury and Christelle Anquetil (UPMC, Paris) for their help with TOC, TN and ladderane analyses, respectively. Lucas Gandy and Enora Saunier (UPMC, Paris) helped with the microbiological analyses. We thank Paques Balk, The Netherlands, for providing anammox samples. JZ gratefully acknowledges a visiting professorship from the UPMC in 2012, allowing the initiation of the project. The authors acknowledge funding from the Emergence-UPMC-2011 research program and are grateful for additional financial support from the French-Swiss PHC Campus France/SATW Germaine de Staël program (to AH and JZ).

Supplementary material

10533_2014_66_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (448 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 447 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Naeher
    • 1
    • 5
  • Arnaud Huguet
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Céline L. Roose-Amsaleg
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anniet M. Laverman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  • Céline Fosse
    • 3
  • Moritz F. Lehmann
    • 4
  • Sylvie Derenne
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jakob Zopfi
    • 4
  1. 1.Sorbonne UniversitésParisFrance
  2. 2.CNRSParisFrance
  3. 3.PSL Research University, Chimie ParisTech - CNRS, Institut de Recherche de Chimie ParisParisFrance
  4. 4.Laboratory for Aquatic and Stable Isotope BiogeochemistryUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of Chemistry, WA-Organic and Isotope Geochemistry Centre (WA-OIGC)Curtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  6. 6.Université de RennesRennesFrance

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