Bacterial Communities and Their Predicted Functions Explain the Sediment Nitrogen Changes Along with Submerged Macrophyte Restoration
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Submerged vegetation biomass fluctuation usually occurs during the preliminary stage of vegetation restoration in shallow lakes, which impacts the final status and duration for achieving a macrophyte-dominant state. This study uncovered the sediment N characteristics and the sediment bacterial community and their predicted functions during the preliminary stage of vegetation recovery in the West Lake, a typical subtropical degenerated shallow lake in China. Results showed increased amounts of sediment TN and NH4-N, reaching 3425.76 and 345.5 mg kg−1, respectively, when the vegetation biomass decreased from its maximum to its minimum. The maximum concentration of sediment NH4-N reached 508.60 mg kg−1 with the decline in vegetation, which might restrict further growth of the submerged macrophytes. The bacterial community structure during the high macrophyte biomass (HMB) period was distinct from that observed during the low macrophyte biomass (LMB) period. Specific taxa such as the phyla Chloroflexi and Acidobacteria and the genus Anaerolineaceae that are related to organic carbon degradation were significantly higher during the LMB period. Potential denitrifiers, such as Lactococcus and Bacillus genera decreased during the LMB period. Accumulation of sediment ammonia could be attributed to the enhanced production by assimilatory nitrate reduction, organic N degradation, and/or the decreased consumption by nitrification. Our findings highlight that the unstable preliminary stage of vegetation restoration brings drastic fluctuation of sediment N loading, of which NH4-N accumulation caused by bacterial communities prevents further growth of the submerged macrophytes. Therefore, extra management measures for the vegetation recovery areas should be taken to avoid excess NH4-N accumulation in sediments.
KeywordsLake restoration Submerged macrophytes Sediment Nitrogen characteristics Bacterial community Predicted function
We thank Zhigang Dai, Jian Sun, Fenli Min, and Lei Zeng for the sediment sample collection on the lake.
This work was supported by the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment of China 13th Five-Year Plan (No. 2017ZX07602-002-004) and the major projects of technical innovation of Hubei province (2016ACA169).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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