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Stream microbial communities and ecosystem functioning show complex responses to multiple stressors in wastewater

Burdon, Francis and Bai, Yaohui and Reyes, Marta and Tamminen, Manu and Staudacher, Philipp and Mangold, Simon and Singer, Heinz and Rasanen, Katja and Joss, Adriano and Jokela, Jukka and Eggen, Rik I. L. and Stamm, Christian (2020). Stream microbial communities and ecosystem functioning show complex responses to multiple stressors in wastewater. Global Change Biology. 26 , 6363-6382
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Abstract

Multiple anthropogenic drivers are changing ecosystems globally, with a disproportionate and intensifying impact on freshwater habitats. A major impact of urbanization are inputs from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Initially designed to reduce eutrophication and improve water quality, WWTPs increasingly release a multitude of micropollutants (MPs; i.e., synthetic chemicals) and microbes (including antibiotic-resistant bacteria) to receiving environments. This pollution may have pervasive impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Viewed through multiple lenses of macroecological and ecotoxicological theory, we combined field, flume, and laboratory experiments to determine the effects of wastewater (WW) on microbial communities and organic-matter processing using a standardized decomposition assay. First, we conducted a mensurative experiment sampling 60 locations above and below WWTP discharges in 20 Swiss streams. Microbial respiration and decomposition rates were positively influenced by WW inputs via warming and nutrient enrichment, but with a notable exception: WW decreased the activation energy of decomposition, indicating a "slowing" of this fundamental ecosystem process in response to temperature. Second, next-generation sequencing indicated that microbial community structure below WWTPs was altered, with significant compositional turnover, reduced richness, and evidence of negative MP influences. Third, a series of flume experiments confirmed that although diluted WW generally has positive influences on microbial-mediated processes, the negative effects of MPs are "masked" by nutrient enrichment. Finally, transplant experiments suggested that WW-borne microbes enhance decomposition rates. Taken together, our results affirm the multiple stressor paradigm by showing that different aspects of WW (warming, nutrients, microbes, and MPs) jointly influence ecosystem functioning in complex ways. Increased respiration rates below WWTPs potentially generate ecosystem "disservices" via greater carbon evasion from streams and rivers. However, toxic MP effects may fundamentally alter ecological scaling relationships, indicating the need for a rapprochement between ecotoxicological and macroecological perspectives.

Authors/Creators:Burdon, Francis and Bai, Yaohui and Reyes, Marta and Tamminen, Manu and Staudacher, Philipp and Mangold, Simon and Singer, Heinz and Rasanen, Katja and Joss, Adriano and Jokela, Jukka and Eggen, Rik I. L. and Stamm, Christian
Title:Stream microbial communities and ecosystem functioning show complex responses to multiple stressors in wastewater
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:26
Page range:6363-6382
Number of Pages:20
ISSN:1354-1013
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:biodiversity, carbon processing, cotton-strip assay, micropollutants, next-generation sequencing, nutrients, temperature, warming
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107804
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107804
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/gcb.15302
Web of Science (WoS)000565359900001
ID Code:17983
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:28 Oct 2020 12:03
Metadata Last Modified:28 Oct 2020 12:11

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