Fate of Trace Organic Compounds in Hyporheic Zone Sediments of Contrasting Organic Carbon Content and Impact on the Microbiome

authored by
Cyrus Rutere, Malte Posselt, Marcus A. Horn

The organic carbon in streambed sediments drives multiple biogeochemical reactions, including the attenuation of organic micropollutants. An attenuation assay using sediment microcosms differing in the initial total organic carbon (TOC) revealed higher microbiome and sorption associated removal efficiencies of trace organic compounds (TrOCs) in the high-TOC compared to the low-TOC sediments. Overall, the combined microbial and sorption associated removal efficiencies of the micropollutants were generally higher than by sorption alone for all compounds tested except propranolol whose removal efficiency was similar via both mechanisms. Quantitative real-time PCR and time-resolved 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing revealed that higher bacterial abundance and diversity in the high-TOC sediments correlated with higher microbial removal efficiencies of most TrOCs. The bacterial community in the high-TOC sediment samples remained relatively stable against the stressor effects of TrOC amendment compared to the low-TOC sediment community that was characterized by a decline in the relative abundance of most phyla except Proteobacteria. Bacterial genera that were significantly more abundant in amended relative to unamended sediment samples and thus associated with biodegradation of the TrOCs included Xanthobacter, Hyphomicrobium, Novosphingobium, Reyranella and Terrimonas. The collective results indicated that the TOC content influences the microbial community dynamics and associated biotransformation of TrOCs as well as the sorption potential of the hyporheic zone sediments.

Institute of Microbiology
External Organisation(s)
Stockholm University
University of Bayreuth
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Biochemistry, Geography, Planning and Development, Aquatic Science, Water Science and Technology
Electronic version(s)
https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123518 (Access: Open)
https://doi.org/10.15488/11070 (Access: Open)