The Bacterial and Fungal Diversity of an Aged PAH- and Heavy Metal-Contaminated Soil is Affected by Plant Cover and Edaphic Parameters Article - Avril 2016

Amélia Bourceret, Aurélie Cebron, Emilie Tisserant, Pascal Poupin, Pascale Bauda, Thierry Beguiristain, Corinne Leyval

Amélia Bourceret, Aurélie Cebron, Emilie Tisserant, Pascal Poupin, Pascale Bauda, Thierry Beguiristain, Corinne Leyval, « The Bacterial and Fungal Diversity of an Aged PAH- and Heavy Metal-Contaminated Soil is Affected by Plant Cover and Edaphic Parameters  », Microbial Ecology, avril 2016, pp. 711-724. ISSN 0095-3628

Abstract

Industrial wasteland soils with aged PAH and heavy metal contaminations are environments where pollutant toxicity has been maintained for decades. Although the communities may be well adapted to the presence of stressors, knowledge about microbial diversity in such soils is scarce. Soil microbial community dynamics can be driven by the presence of plants, but the impact of plant development on selection or diversification of microorganisms in these soils has not been established yet. To test these hypotheses, aged-contaminated soil samples from a field trial were collected. Plots planted with alfalfa were compared to bare soil plots, and bacterial and fungal diversity and abundance were assessed after 2 and 6 years. Using pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene and ITS amplicons, we showed that the bacterial community was dominated by Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes and was characterized by low Acidobacteria abundance, while the fungal community was mainly represented by members of the Ascomycota. The short-term toxic impact of pollutants usually reduces the microbial diversity, yet in our samples bacterial and fungal species richness and diversity was high suggesting that the community structure and diversity adapted to the contaminated soil over decades. The presence of plants induced higher bacterial and fungal diversity than in bare soil. It also increased the relative abundance of bacterial members of the Actinomycetales, Rhizobiales, and Xanthomonadales orders and of most fungal orders. Multivariate analysis showed correlations between microbial community structure and heavy metal and PAH concentrations over time, but also with edaphic parameters (C/N, pH, phosphorus, and nitrogen concentrations).

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