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Article

Effects of Macrofaunal Recolonization on Biogeochemical Processes and Microbiota—A Mesocosm Study

1
Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics (IBP), ETH Zurich, Universitätstrasse 16, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
2
Department of Surface Waters—Research and Management, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG), Seestrasse 79, 6047 Kastanienbaum, Switzerland
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Department U2-Microbial Ecology, German Federal Institute of Hydrology, Am Mainzer Tor 1, 56068 Koblenz, Germany.
Co-first authors, contributed equally to the study.
§
Current address: Geomicrobiology, University of Tübingen, Schnarrenbergstraße 94-96, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.
Academic Editor: Soren Brothers
Water 2021, 13(11), 1599; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111599
Received: 6 May 2021 / Revised: 28 May 2021 / Accepted: 3 June 2021 / Published: 6 June 2021
Macroinvertebrates are widespread in lake sediments and alter sedimentary properties through their activity (bioturbation). Understanding the interactions between bioturbation and sediment properties is important given that lakes are important sinks and sources of carbon and nutrients. We studied the biogeochemical impact of macrofauna on surface sediments in 3-month-long mesocosm experiments conducted using sediment cores from a hypoxic, macrofauna-free lake basin. Experimental units consisted of hypoxic controls, oxic treatments, and oxic treatments that were experimentally colonized with chironomid larvae or tubificid worms. Overall, the presence of O2 in bottom water had the strongest geochemical effect and led to oxidation of sediments down to 2 cm depth. Relative to macrofauna-free oxic treatments, chironomid larvae increased sediment pore water concentrations of nitrate and sulfate and lowered porewater concentrations of reduced metals (Fe2+, Mn2+), presumably by burrow ventilation, whereas tubificid worms increased the redox potential, possibly through sediment reworking. Microbial communities were very similar across oxic treatments; however, the fractions of α-, β-, and γ-Proteobacteria and Sphingobacteriia increased, whereas those of Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, and Omnitrophica decreased compared to hypoxic controls. Sediment microbial communities were, moreover, distinct from those of macrofaunal tubes or feces. We suggest that, under the conditions studied, bottom water oxygenation has a stronger biogeochemical impact on lacustrine surface sediments than macrofaunal bioturbation. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioturbation; ventilation; bioirrigation; reworking; microbial community; sediment biogeochemistry; temperate lake sediment; eutrophication; oligotrophication bioturbation; ventilation; bioirrigation; reworking; microbial community; sediment biogeochemistry; temperate lake sediment; eutrophication; oligotrophication
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fiskal, A.; Gaillard, A.; Giroud, S.; Malcic, D.; Joshi, P.; Sander, M.; Schubert, C.J.; Lever, M.A. Effects of Macrofaunal Recolonization on Biogeochemical Processes and Microbiota—A Mesocosm Study. Water 2021, 13, 1599. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111599

AMA Style

Fiskal A, Gaillard A, Giroud S, Malcic D, Joshi P, Sander M, Schubert CJ, Lever MA. Effects of Macrofaunal Recolonization on Biogeochemical Processes and Microbiota—A Mesocosm Study. Water. 2021; 13(11):1599. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111599

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fiskal, Annika, Aixala Gaillard, Sebastien Giroud, Dejan Malcic, Prachi Joshi, Michael Sander, Carsten J. Schubert, and Mark A. Lever 2021. "Effects of Macrofaunal Recolonization on Biogeochemical Processes and Microbiota—A Mesocosm Study" Water 13, no. 11: 1599. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111599

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