Changes in microbial community structure during long-term incubation in two soils experimentally contaminated with metals

The effects of Zn contamination on the microbial community structure of a forest humus and an arable soil, as estimated by phospholipid fatty acid analysis, were followed during 18 months

Å. Frostegård

2002

Key concepts

Scholarcy highlights

  • The effects of Zn contamination on the microbial community structure of a forest humus and an arable soil, as estimated by phospholipid fatty acid analysis, were followed during 18 months
  • The soils were contaminated at 10 different metal concentrations and incubated in plastic jars at 22°C
  • In both soils effects of heavy metal contamination could be detected after 2 weeks
  • Similar changes in the PLFA pattern were found at the later sampling occasions, the changes became more pronounced with prolonged incubation
  • The proportions of several individual bacterial PLFAs changed in both soils due to the treatments, indicating shifts within the bacterial community in the soils, but these shifts could not be interpreted in terms of changes in the proportional abundance of specific taxonomic groups of bacteria
  • The ratio of 16:1ω7t-to-16:1ω7c, which has been proposed as a starvation index, increased in the forest soil due to Zn contamination
  • Little or no effect was found on the total amount of phospholipid fatty acid or on the lipid phosphate content, except after 18 months when these biomass measurements decreased

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