Dynamics of nematodes in a high organic loading rotating biological contactors

Humbert Salvadó, Alejandro Palomo, Meritxell Mas, Jaume Puigagut, Ma Del Pilar Gracia

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Nematode diversity and dynamics of a full-scale rotating biological contactor plant (RBC) has been studied. Analysis of biofilm composition showed a well-established zoning of microfauna among the three RBC sections analysed. Nematodes appeared to be the dominant group within the larger microfauna populations with average abundances between 200 and 300ind/mg or 8000 and 17000ind/cm2. The most abundant nematode species were Diplogasteritus nudicapitatus and Paroigolaimella coprophages and, to a lesser extent, Paroigolaimella bernensis and Steinernema intermedia. The relationship between nematodes and filamentous bacteria (specifically the genus Beggiatoa) was the most significant biotic relationship found, and to a lesser extent, nematodes with ciliates. The relationship between the abundance of nematode species and the physical-chemical variables suggests that nematodes may be good indicators of low pollutant load levels in the entry of the RBC system. Finally, the results indicate that nematodes may have a relevant role for a good biofilm development. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2571-2578
JournalWater Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2004


  • Ciliates
  • Filamentous bacteria
  • Nematoda
  • Protozoa
  • Rotating biological contactor


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