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Distinct responses of planktonic and sedimentary bacterial communities to anthropogenic activities: Case study of a tributary of the Three Gorges Reservoir, China

Mao, Yufeng, Liu, Yi, Li, Hong, He, Qiang, Ai, Hainan, Gu, Weikang, Yang, Guofeng
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.682 pp. 324-332
anaerobic ammonium oxidation, anthropogenic activities, bacteria, bacterial communities, biochemical pathways, biogeography, carbon, case studies, community structure, dams (hydrology), denitrification, ecosystems, environmental factors, environmental impact, genes, land use change, nitrogen, nutrient content, plankton, rivers, sediments, surface water, China
Anthropogenic activities can cause serious negative effects on ecosystems. Despite the ecological significance of bacterial communities, the integrated biogeography of planktonic and sedimentary bacterial communities in response to anthropogenic activities is not adequately understood. Here, we examined environmental parameters and the composition of planktonic and sedimentary bacteria in the Yulin River, a tributary of Three Gorges Reservoir, in response to changes in land use and dam construction. The results revealed that human-induced land use changes enhanced the nutrient concentrations in surface water and dam construction reduced the content of carbon and nitrogen in immediately downstream sediments. Intensified human-dominated land use showed a slight impact on sedimentary bacterial communities but largely reduced the diversity of planktonic bacterial communities. Moreover, human-induced land use changes increased the abundance of genes associated with denitrification, nitrification, and anammox in planktonic bacterial communities by 19.04%, 32.40% and 30.45%, respectively. In dam construction regions, the diversity and nutrient-related metabolic activity of sedimentary bacterial communities immediately downstream of the dam were decreased, whereas these changes were not observed in planktonic bacterial communities. Additionally, bacterial community composition was significantly related to nutrient concentrations variability and followed a distance-decay pattern. Furthermore, environmental effects explained more of the variation in planktonic bacterial community composition as compared with spatial effects did, whereas, sedimentary bacterial communities were more closely related to spatial effects. Our results demonstrated the distinct responses of planktonic and sedimentary bacterial communities to anthropogenic activities, and offered new insight for understanding their potential ecological influence on rivers.