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Impacts of diel temperature variations on nitrogen removal and metacommunity of anammox biofilm reactors

Meng, Yabing, Zhou, Zhongbo, Meng, Fangang
Water research 2019 v.160 pp. 1-9
Nitrosomonas, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, bacterial communities, biofilm, denitrifying microorganisms, ecosystems, nitrifying bacteria, nitrogen, ribosomal RNA, sequence analysis, species diversity, wastewater treatment, water temperature
The influence of diel temperature variations (DTVs) on nitrogen removal and bacterial communities was investigated in two parallel anammox reactors (i.e., control and DTV reactors). The control reactor was operated at a constant temperature of 30 °C, whereas the DTV reactor was operated in a temperature fluctuation mode with a cycle of 12/12 h of high/low temperatures. Nine water temperature variations for the day/night periods were set from 30/30 °C (i.e., Δ0 °C) to 38/22 °C (i.e., Δ16 °C). An increase in DTVs from Δ8 °C (34/26 °C) to Δ16 °C (38/22 °C) caused a significant decline in reactor performance and a shift in bacterial diversity. Compared to the control reactor, for instance, nitrogen removal efficiency decreased (P < 0.05) when temperature fluctuations exceeded Δ8 °C in the DTV reactor with a decreasing ΔNO3−/ΔNH4+ ratio (from 0.21 ± 0.15 to 0.16 ± 0.04). The results of 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that the initial disturbance of temperature variations led to increased levels of bacterial diversity (i.e., alpha diversity) and decreased community levels of anammox consortia whereas they slightly recovered at the end of each DTV phase. Notably, Candidatus Jettenia was more sensitive to strong water temperature fluctuations, with the lower relative abundance at Δ14 °C (17.11 ± 5.01%) and Δ16 °C (17.83 ± 7.22%) than at Δ4 °C (39.82 ± 0.01%). In contrast, Ca. Brocadia and Ca. Kuenenia had higher relative abundance at Δ14 °C (i.e., 0.24 ± 0.07% and 0.09 ± 0.02%, respectively) and Δ16 °C (i.e., 0.28 ± 0.05% and 0.12 ± 0.03%, respectively) compared to that at Δ4 °C (i.e., 0.15 ± 0.04% and 0.04 ± 0.01%, respectively). Nitrifiers (i.e., unidentified_Nitrospiraceae and Nitrosomonas) and denitrifiers (i.e., Denitratisoma) were also capable of tolerating high temperature perturbations. Overall this study furthers our knowledge of responses of the microbial ecology of anammox bacteria to DTVs in anammox processes, which could aid us in optimizing anammox-related wastewater treatment systems and in understanding the nitrogen cycles of natural ecosystems.