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Agricultural Pollution Risks Influence Microbial Ecology in Honghu Lake

By Maozhen Han, Melissa Dsouza, Chunyu Zhou, Hongjun Li, Junqian Zhang, Chaoyun Chen, Qi Yao, Chaofang Zhong, Hao Zhou, Jack A Gilbert, Zhi Wang, Kang Ning

Posted 08 Jan 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/244657

Background: Agricultural activities, such as stock-farming, planting industry, and fish aquaculture, can influence the physicochemistry and biology of freshwater lakes. However, the extent to which these agricultural activities, especially those that result in eutrophication and antibiotic pollution, effect water and sediment-associated microbial ecology, remains unclear. Methods: We performed a geospatial analysis of water and sediment associated microbial community structure, as well as physicochemical parameters and antibiotic pollution, across 18 sites in Honghu lake, which range from impacted to less-impacted by agricultural pollution. Furthermore, the co-occurrence network of water and sediment were built and compared accorded to the agricultural activities. Results: Physicochemical properties including TN, TP, NO3--N, and NO2--N were correlated with microbial compositional differences in water samples. Likewise, in sediment samples, Sed-OM and Sed-TN correlated with microbial diversity. Oxytetracycline and tetracycline concentration described the majority of the variance in taxonomic and predicted functional diversity between impacted and less-impacted sites in water and sediment samples, respectively. Finally, the structure of microbial co-associations was influenced by the eutrophication and antibiotic pollution. Conclusion: These analyses of the composition and structure of water and sediment microbial communities in anthropologically-impacted lakes are imperative for effective environmental pollution monitoring. Likewise, the exploration of the associations between environmental variables (e.g. physicochemical properties, and antibiotics) and community structure is important in the assessment of lake water quality and its ability to sustain agriculture. These results show agricultural practices can negatively influence not only the physicochemical properties, but also the biodiversity of microbial communities associated with the Honghu lake ecosystem. And these results provide compelling evidence that the microbial community can be used as a sentinel of eutrophication and antibiotics pollution risk associated with agricultural activity; and that proper monitoring of this environment is vital to maintain a sustainable environment in Honghu lake.

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