Recent Published Articles

The response of structure and nitrogen removal function of the biofilm on submerged macrophytes to high ammonium in constructed wetlands

Liuyan Yang , Xue Jiang , Mengmeng Wang , Shunqing Yang , Di He , Fei Fang


Received May 28, 2023,Revised , Accepted July 04, 2023, Available online July 08, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 129-141

The ammonium exceedance discharge from sewage treatment plants has a great risk to the stable operation of subsequent constructed wetlands (CWs). The effects of high ammonium shocks on submerged macrophytes and epiphytic biofilms on the leaves of submerged macrophytes in CWs were rarely mentioned in previous studies. In this paper, the 16S rRNA sequencing method was used to investigate the variation of the microbial communities in biofilms on the leaves of Vallisneria natans plants while the growth characteristics of V. natans plants were measured at different initial ammonium concentrations. The results demonstrated that the total chlorophyll and soluble sugar synthesis of V. natans plants decreased by 51.45% and 57.16%, respectively, and malondialdehyde content increased threefold after 8 days if the initial NH4+-N concentration was more than 5 mg/L. Algal density, bacterial quantity, dissolved oxygen, and pH increased with high ammonium shocks. The average removal efficiencies of total nitrogen and NH4+-N reached 73.26% and 83.94%, respectively. The heat map and relative abundance analysis represented that the relative abundances of phyla Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, and Bacteroidetes increased. The numbers of autotrophic nitrifiers and heterotrophic nitrification aerobic denitrification (HNAD) bacteria expanded in biofilms. In particular, HNAD bacteria of Flavobacterium, Hydrogenophaga, Acidovorax, Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Aeromonas, and Azospira had higher abundances than autotrophic nitrifiers because there were organic matters secreted from declining leaves of V. natans plants. The analysis of the nitrogen metabolic pathway showed aerobic denitrification was the main nitrogen removal pathway. Thus, the nitrification and denitrification bacterial communities increased in epiphytic biofilms on submerged macrophytes in constructed wetlands while submerged macrophytes declined under ammonium shock loading.

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