Microbial Communities in Constructed Wetland Microcosms and Their Role in Treatment of Domestic Wastewater
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Microbial biomass is the main reducer for majority of organics and nutrients. The aerobic region of constructed wetland microcosms (CWMs) is majorly characterized by presence of Nitrosomonas and Pseudomonas spp. The diversity of ammonia-oxidizers mainly Nitrosospira sp. is higher in CWMs designed to treat domestic wastewater as compared to other bacteria studied. The activity of enzymes within CWMs is a key indicator towards role of microbial community. Rhizospheric region has diverse elements that comprises minerals, sugars, vitamins, organic acids, polysaccharides, phenol and various other organic materials that encourages the microbial groups to degrade wastewater pollutants. The presence of macrophytes has significant effects on microbial richness and community structure. The root exudates liberated by macrophytes are also able to alter the richness and diversity of the microbial population. The decomposition rates of microbes become slow as temperatures drop, which can be optimized by increasing the size of wetlands to accomplish the slower reaction rates. The pH of wastewater has also a strong effect on various microbially mediated reactions and processes. Temperature, hydrologic conditions, macrophytic diversity/richness and biotic succession strongly impact the microbial community structure. A little alteration in the diversity or community structure of the microorganisms directly affects the treatment performance of CWMs.
KeywordsMicrobial diversity/richness Constructed wetland microcosms Removal efficiency Enzyme activity Macrophytes
The authors are grateful to the Department of Environmental Science, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University for providing infrastructural facility and University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, India for financial assistance as Junior Research Fellowship (Ref. no. 3525/SC/NET-JULY 2016) to the first author of this chapter.
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