Environmental biology

Characteristics of the microbial communities in the integrated vertical-flowconstructed wetlands

ZHOU Qiaohong , HE Feng , Zhang Liping , WANG Yanfen , WU Zhenbin


Received November 07, 2008,Revised January 12, 2009, Accepted , Available online

Volume 21,2009,Pages 1261-1267

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Microorganisms play an important role in removing pollutants from constructed wetlands. We investigated the microbial characteristics in a novel integrated vertical-flow constructed wetland (IVCW), which has been in operation in Wuhan, China since 1998. We used phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and amoA gene to analyze the structure and diversity of the microbial community within the IVCW. PLFA results suggested that the amount of bacterial PLFA was significantly higher than that of fungal PLFA, but the total microbial biomass represented by PLFA index was low in the system. Microbial spatial distribution showed significantly higher bacterial (both G+ and G??) and fungal biomass in the surface than in the subsurface layers. The ratios of monounsaturated to branched PLFA demonstrated that an anaerobic layer sandwiched by two aerobic layers existed in the IVCW, consistent with the redox potential results. Analysis of the amoA revealed the presence of Nitrosomonas-like sequences in the surface substrate of the downflow chamber and apparent diversities of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria in the system. These results suggest that microorganisms, despite their relatively low biomass, have inhabited the IVCW, and the results will o er some valuable information on microbe to system designers and managers.

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