Response of microbial community to different land-use types, nutrients and heavy metals in urban river sediment

Yuwei Pan, Jiawei Xie, Weixing Yan, Tian C. Zhang, Chongjun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Nutrients and heavy metals (HM) in the sediment have an impact on microbial diversity and community structure. In this study, the distribution characteristics of nutrients, HM, and microbial community in the sediments along the Longsha River, a tributary of the Pearl River (or Zhu Jiang), China were investigated by analyzing samples from 11 sites. On the basis of the HM-contamination level, the 11 sampling sites were divided into three groups to explore the changes in microbial communities at different ecological risk levels. Results indicated that nutrient concentrations were higher near farmlands and residential lands, while the ecological risk of HM at the 11 sampling sites was from high to low as S10 > S2 > S9 > S6 > S11 > S7 > S5 > S8 > S3 > S4 > S1. Among these HM, Cu, Cr, and Ni had intense ecological risks. In addition, the results of Variance Partitioning Analysis (VPA) revealed a higher contribution of HM (35.93%) to microbial community variation than nutrients (12.08%) and pH (4.08%). Furthermore, the HM-tolerant microbial taxa (Clostridium_sensu_stricto_1, Romboutsia, norank_o__Gaiellales, and etc.) were the dominant genera, and they were more dynamic around industrial lands, while microbes involved in the C, N, and S cycles (e.g., Smithella, Thiobacillus, Dechloromonas, Bacter oidetes_vadinHA17, and Syntrophorhabdus) were inhibited by HM, while their abundance was lower near industrial lands and highway but higher around residential lands. A three-unit monitoring program of land-use types, pollutants, and microbial communities was proposed. These results provide a new perspective on the control of riparian land-use types based on contaminants and microbes, and different microbial community response patterns may provide a reference for contaminant control in sediments with intensive industrial activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115855
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • Environment indicator
  • Land-use types
  • Microbial community structure
  • Nutrients and heavy metals
  • River sediment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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