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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Seasonal Variation in Microbial Communities and Organic Malodor Indicator Compound Concentrations in Various Types of Swine Manure Storage Systems


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 6, p. 2074-2085
    Received: Dec 28, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): larryh@iastate.edu
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  1. L. Merrilla and
  2. L. J. Halverson *b
  1. a Department of Microbiology, 2537 Agronomy Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1010
    b Departments of Agronomy and Microbiology, 2537 Agronomy Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1010


Anaerobic manure storage systems are one of the major contributors to the odor and environmental pollution associated with swine (Sus scrofa) production systems. The microbial ecology of manure storage systems and the relationships between microbial communities and odor production are largely unknown. In this study, we used community fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis to generate lipid profiles to assess seasonal differences among microbial communities inhabiting various types of outdoor swine manure storage systems. Concurrently, we measured manure concentrations of several malodor indicator compounds as well as pH, temperature, and solids content. Principal components analysis (PCA) showed that there are differences in FAME profiles among the swine manure storage systems examined and most of the variation was in the relative abundance of 18:0, 18:1ω7t, 18:1ω7c/ω9t/ω12t, and 16:1ω7t/i15:0 2OH FAMEs. The PCA of the FAME profiles revealed that the phototrophic systems were more similar to each other and that the nonphototrophic systems were more similar to each other than they were to phototrophic lagoons. There were seasonal changes in the FAME profiles in the phototrophic systems and the concrete nonphototrophic basin (CNPB), and in one phototrophic system, the FAME profiles more closely resembled a CNPB FAME profile during the winter than the other phototrophic lagoons. In the phototrophic lagoon systems, there was a direct correlation between the abundance of the FAMEs identified in the PCA and manure concentrations of phenol, p-cresol, and 4-ethyl phenol. In the CNPB, there was a negative correlation between the total phenolics concentration and the 18:1ω7t FAME. Our results indicate that community FAME profiles could be used as a diagnostic tool for obtaining preliminary evidence that management practices are altering the system's microbial community to one that favors less air pollution potential.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:2074–2085.