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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 6, p. 1730-1736
    Received: July 18, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): glyhwy@hotmail.com
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Analysis of the Metabolic Utilization of Carbon Sources and Potential Functional Diversity of the Bacterial Community in Lab-Scale Horizontal Subsurface-Flow Constructed Wetlands

  1. Huanhuan Denga,
  2. Liyun Ge *a,
  3. Tan Xua,
  4. Minghua Zhanga,
  5. Xuedong Wanga,
  6. Yalei Zhangb and
  7. Hong Peng *c
  1. a Dep. of Environmental Science, Wenzhou Medical College, 325035, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, P.R. China
    b College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji Univ., 200092, Shanghai, P.R. China
    c School of Water Resources and Hydropower, State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan, Univ., 430072, Wuhan, P.R. China. Assigned to Associate Editor Minghua Zhang


Microorganisms are an integral part of the biogeochemical processes in wetlands. To improve the performance of constructed wetlands, it is very important to know the metabolic properties and functional diversity of the microbial communities. The purpose of this study is to analyze the metabolic properties and functional diversity of the microbial community in a horizontal subsurface-flow constructed wetland (CW) in a laboratory study through the sole-carbon-source utilization profiles using Biolog-ECO microplates. The technique has advantages over traditional cell culture techniques, such as molecular-level techniques–RNA amplification, which are time-consuming, expensive, and only applicable to the small number of species that may be cultured. This CW was designed to treat rural eutrophic water in China, using the plant Cyperus alternifolius L. This study showed that the metabolic activities of upper front substrate microorganisms (UF) were greater than those of the lower back substrate microorganisms (LB) in the CW. Integrated areas under average well color development (AWCD) curves of substrate microorganisms in the UF were 131.9, 4.8, and 99.3% higher than in the lower front part (LF), the upper back part (UB), and the LB part of the CW, respectively. Principal components analysis showed significant differences in both community structure and metabolic utilization of carbon sources between substrate microorganisms from different sampling sites. Carbon source utilization of polymers, carbohydrates, carboxylic acids, and amino acids was higher in UF than in LF, but that of amines and phenolic compounds was very similar in UF and LF. The richness, evenness, and diversity of upper substrate microbial communities were significantly higher than those of lower substrate. The LF substrate microbial communities had lower evenness than the other sampling plots, and the lowest richness of substrate microbial community was found in the LB part of the CW.

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