Biogeographic patterns of benthic microbial communities in metal(loid)-contaminated semi-enclosed bay

Xiaoxuan Yu, Jinjin Chen, Qilin Gutang, Edmond Sanganyado, Ran Bi, Wenhua Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Anthropogenic activities can adversely impact biogeochemical processes essential for maintaining ecosystem health in semi-enclosed bays. However, the influence of anthropogenic contaminants such as potentially toxic elements on microbial communities that regulate biogeochemical cycles in semi-enclosed bays is poorly understood. We determined the concentrations of four potentially toxic elements (Cu, Zn, Pb, and As) in sediments from a typical tropical semi-enclosed bay in Guangdong, China. Source apportionment using Pearson's correlation analysis revealed that aquaculture activities were probably the primary source of Cu, Zn, and Pb. Using high-throughput sediment DNA sequencing, we found that Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in sediments. There was no evidence suggesting site-specific variation in microbial function even though sediments adjacent to aquaculture discharge points had higher microbial diversity. In contrast, pollutant-specific variations were observed; for example, Zn and Pd showed potential adverse effects on the environmental information processing function, while As showed a negative correlation with metabolic function. Based on different environmental characteristics, future research should consider the impact of multiple factors on the bacterial community in aquaculture systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number134412
Number of pages8
Early online date1 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


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