Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 15, pp 15084–15094 | Cite as

Anaerobic ammonium oxidation coupled to ferric iron reduction in the sediment of a eutrophic lake

  • Zongbao Yao
  • Fang Wang
  • Chunliu Wang
  • Huacheng Xu
  • Helong JiangEmail author
Research Article


Anaerobic ammonium oxidation coupled to ferric iron reduction (Feammox) has been assumed to play an important role in nitrogen removal from ecosystems. This study assessed the potential role of Feammox in nitrogen transformation in eutrophic lake sediment using an isotope tracing technique in sediment slurry incubation experiments. Feammox was discovered in eutrophic lake sediment. A significant correlation was found between Feammox rates and iron-reducing rates. Furthermore, the positive correlations between the abundance of iron-reducing bacteria (FeRB), such as Geobacteraceae spp. and Shewanella spp., and Feammox rates indicate that Feammox was mediated by FeRB. The potential rate of Feammox in the isotopic tracer incubation treatment was 0.23–0.43 mg N kg−1 day−1. The estimated nitrogen loss caused by Feammox accounts for 5.0–9.2% of the human-induced N input annually into the eutrophic lake. Feammox alone or coupled with anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) and/or denitrification may have an essential role in the nitrogen cycle within eutrophic lake sediment.


Eutrophic lake Ammonium oxidation Feammox Iron-reducing bacteria Nitrogen loss Sediments 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51609234) and the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20161089).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4907_MOESM1_ESM.docx (71 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 70 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zongbao Yao
    • 1
  • Fang Wang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Chunliu Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Huacheng Xu
    • 1
  • Helong Jiang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and LimnologyChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Biology and EnvironmentNanjing Forestry UniversityNanjingChina

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