Environmental gradient have strong effects on community assembly processes. In order to reveal the effects of alkaline mine drainage (AlkMD) on bacterial and denitrifying bacterial community compositions and diversity in tailings reservoir, here we conducted an experiment to examine all and core bacterial taxa and denitrifying functional genes's (nirS, nirK, nosZΙ) abundance along a chemical gradient in tailings water in Shibahe copper tailings in Zhongtiaoshan, China. Differences in bacterial and denitrifying bacterial community compositions in different habitats and their relationships with environmental parameters were analyzed. The results showed that the richness and diversity of bacterial community in downstream seeping water (SDSW) were the largest, while that in upstream tailings water (STW1) were the lowest. The diversity and abundance of bacterial communities tended to increase from STW1 to SDSW. The variation of bacterial community diversity was significantly related to electroconductibility (EC), nitrate (NO3−), nitrite (NO2−), total carbon (TC), inorganic carbon (IC) and sulfate (SO42−), but was not correlated with geographic distance in local scale. Core taxa from class to genus were all significantly related to NO3− and NO2−. Core taxa Rhodobacteraceae, Rhodobacter, Acinetobacter and Hydrogenophaga were typical denitrifying bacteria. The variation trends of these groups were consistent with the copy number of nirS, nirK and nosZΙ, demonstrating their importance in the process of nitrogen reduction. The copy number of nirK, nosZΙ and nirS/16S rDNA, nirK/16Sr DNA correlated strongly with NO3−, NO2− and IC, but nirS and nosZI/16SrDNA had no significant correlation with NO3− and NO2−. The copy numbers of denitrifying functional genes (nirS, nirK and nosZΙ) were negatively correlated with heavy metal plumbum (Pb) and zinc (Zn). It showed that heavy metal contamination was an important factor affecting the structure of denitrifying bacterial community in AlkMD. In this study we have identified the distribution pattern of bacterial community along physiochemical gradients in alkaline tailings reservoir and displayed the driving force of shaping the structure of bacterial community. The influence of NO3−, NO2−, IC and heavy metal Pb and Zn on bacterial community might via their influence on the functional groups involving nitrogen, carbon and metal metabolisms.
Water Research – Elsevier
Published: Apr 15, 2018
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