Vegetation type impacts microbial interaction with antimony contaminants in a mining-contaminated soil environment.

Author(s) Sun, X.; Li, B.; Han, F.; Xiao, E.; Wang, Q.; Xiao, T.; Sun, W.
Journal Environ Pollut
Date Published 2019 Sep
Abstract

Antimony (Sb) contamination is a growing environmental concern due to the increasing use of this metalloid in mining and industrial activities. The remediation of Sb-contaminated soil is a lengthy and costly process. Phytoremediation has been suggested as a cost-effective method for the long-term management of Sb-contaminated sites. Various plant types have been found to thrive in contaminated sites and have the potential to remediate Sb contamination; however, their impacts on Sb speciation and the indigenous microbial community remain unclear. In the current study, soils from three types of vegetation environment (i.e., grass, forest, and agricultural) were collected from two Sb mining areas in Guizhou, China. Comparisons of geochemical and microbiological properties among the three vegetation types revealed that vegetation was a major driver of soil biogeochemical characteristics. Contaminant fractions (i.e., extractable fractions of Sb and As) had a greater influence on microbial communities in grass and forest soil, whereas pH had a greater impact in agricultural soil. This difference may indicate distinct microbe-environment interactions in agricultural soil affected by anthropogenic activity. The dominant taxa, including Flavobacterium, Geobacter, Janthinobacterium, Clostridium, and Mycobacterium responded positively to various contaminant fractions, indicating that the community had adapted to the chronically contaminated environment. However, the regulation of these dominant genera by geochemical properties appears to be taxon-specific. Our results demonstrate that vegetation type has a substantial impact on Sb and As biogeochemical cycles, and should be considered in future remediation efforts.

DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.06.070
ISSN 1873-6424
Citation Sun X, Li B, Han F, Xiao E, Wang Q, Xiao T, et al. Vegetation type impacts microbial interaction with antimony contaminants in a mining-contaminated soil environment. Environ Pollut. 2019;252(Pt B):1872-1881.