Bacterial community structure and diversity responses to the direct revegetation of an artisanal zinc smelting slag after 5 years

  • Youfa Luo
  • Yonggui Wu
  • Hu Wang
  • Rongrong Xing
  • Zhilin Zheng
  • Jing Qiu
  • Lian Yang
Research Article


This comparative field study examined the responses of bacterial community structure and diversity to the revegetation of zinc (Zn) smelting waste slag with eight plant species after 5 years. The microbial community structure of waste slag with and without vegetation was evaluated using high-throughput sequencing. The physiochemical properties of Zn smelting slag after revegetation with eight plant rhizospheres for 5 years were improved compared to those of bulk slag. Revegetation significantly increased the microbial community diversity in plant rhizospheres, and at the phylum level, Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, and Bacteroidetes were notably more abundant in rhizosphere slags than those in bulk waste slag. Additionally, revegetation increased the relative abundance of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria such as Flavobacterium, Streptomyces, and Arthrobacter as well as symbiotic N2 fixers such as Bradyrhizobium. Three dominant native plant species (Arundo donax, Broussonetia papyrifera, and Robinia pseudoacacia) greatly increased the quality of the rhizosphere slags. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that the differences in bacterial community structure between the bulk and rhizosphere slags were explained by slag properties, i.e., pH, available copper (Cu) and lead (Pb), moisture, available nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), and organic matter (OM); however, available Zn and cadmium (Cd) contents were the slag parameters that best explained the differences between the rhizosphere communities of the eight plant species. The results suggested that revegetation plays an important role in enhancing bacterial community abundance and diversity in rhizosphere slags and that revegetation may also regulate microbiological properties and diversity mainly through changes in heavy metal bioavailability and physiochemical slag characteristics.


Zinc smelting waste slag Direct revegetation Environmental factors Bacterial community structure Response High-throughput sequencing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Youfa Luo
    • 1
  • Yonggui Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hu Wang
    • 1
  • Rongrong Xing
    • 1
  • Zhilin Zheng
    • 1
  • Jing Qiu
    • 1
  • Lian Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Resource and Environmental EngineeringGuizhou UniversityGuiyangChina
  2. 2.Institute of Applied EcologyGuizhou UniversityGuiyangChina

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