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Mesocosm-Scale Evaluation of Faunal and Microbial Communities of Aerated and Unaerated Leachfield Soil
 

Summary: Mesocosm-Scale Evaluation of Faunal and Microbial Communities of Aerated
and Unaerated Leachfield Soil
Jose´ A. Amador,* David A. Potts, Mary C. Savin, Peter Tomlinson, Josef H. Go¨rres, and Erika L. Nicosia
ABSTRACT
Aeration improves the capacity of leachfields to decontaminate and
reduce the nutrient load of wastewater. To gain a better understanding
of the effects of aeration, we examined the faunal and microbial
communities of septic system leachfield soil (0­4 and 4­13 cm) using
replicated (n 5 3) mesocosms that were actively aerated (AIR) or
unaerated (LEACH). Protozoa were 40 to 140 times more abundant
in AIR than in LEACH soil. No nematodes were found in LEACH
soil, whereas AIR soil contained 5 to 14 3 103
nematodes (all bac-
teriovores) kg21
. Active microbial biomass was four to five times
higher in AIR than LEACH soil. Proteobacteria and actinomycetes/
sulfate-reducing bacteria constituted a higher proportion of the com-
munity in AIR soil, whereas anaerobic Gram-negative bacteria/
firmicutes were more prominent in LEACH soil. Ratios of prokaryo-
tic to eukaryotic phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) were higher in

  

Source: Amador, José A. - Department of Natural Resources Science, University of Rhode Island

 

Collections: Environmental Management and Restoration Technologies; Environmental Sciences and Ecology