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Microbial abundance and community in subsurface flow constructed wetland microcosms: role of plant presence

Abstract

In this research, the role of plants in improving microorganism growth conditions in subsurface flow constructed wetland (CW) microcosms was determined. In particular, microbial abundance and community were investigated during summer and winter in Phragmites australis-planted CW microcosms (PA) and unplanted CW microcosms (control, CT). Results revealed that the removal efficiencies of pollutants and microbial community structure varied in winter with variable microbial abundance. During summer, PA comprised more dominant phyla (e.g., Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes), whereas CT contained more Cyanobacteria and photosynthetic bacteria. During winter, the abundance of Proteobacteria was >40 % in PA but dramatically decreased in CT. Moreover, Cyanobacteria and photosynthetic bacterial dominance in CT decreased. In both seasons, bacteria were more abundant in root surfaces than in sand. Plant presence positively affected microbial abundance and community. The potential removal ability of CT, in which Cyanobacteria and photosynthetic bacteria were abundant during summer, was more significantly affected by temperature reduction than that of PA with plant presence.

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Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge financial support by the National Science Foundation of China (21007032 and 21307078), Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation, China (2009ZRB019Y9), and the Independent Innovation Foundation of Shandong University (2012JC029 and 2014JC023).

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The work described has not been published before. The work is not under consideration for publication anywhere else, and its publication has been approved by all coauthors.

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Correspondence to Jian Zhang.

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Responsible editor: Robert Duran

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Wang, Q., Xie, H., Ngo, H.H. et al. Microbial abundance and community in subsurface flow constructed wetland microcosms: role of plant presence. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 4036–4045 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-4286-0

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Keywords

  • Constructed wetland
  • Summer
  • Winter
  • Microbial abundance
  • Microbial community