The dynamic development of bacterial community following long-term weathering of bauxite residue


Shengguo Xue , Hao Wu , Li Chen , Feng Zhu , William Hartley , Yifan Zhang

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2019.12.001

Received June 23, 2019,Revised , Accepted December 04, 2019, Available online December 19, 2019

Volume 32,2020,Pages 321-330

Bauxite residue is the industrial waste generated from alumina production and commonly deposited in impoundments. These sites are bare of vegetation due to the extreme high salinity and alkalinity, as well as lack of nutrients. However, long term weathering processes could improve residue properties to support the plant establishment. Here we investigate the development of bacterial communities and the geochemical drivers in bauxite residue, using Illumina high-throughput sequencing technology. Long term weathering reduced the pH in bauxite residue and increased its nutrients content. The bacterial community also significantly developed during long term weathering processes. Taxonomic analysis revealed that natural weathering processes encouraged the populations of Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria and Planctomycetes, whereas reducing the populations of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. Redundancy analysis (RDA) indicated that total organic carbon (TOC) was the dominant factors affecting microbial structure. The results have demonstrated that natural weathering processes improved the soil development on the abandoned bauxite residue disposal areas, which also increased our understanding of the correlation between microbial variation and residue properties during natural weathering processes in Bauxite residue disposal areas.

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