Microbial community changes induced by Managed Aquifer Recharge activities: Linking hydrogeological and biological processes

Carme Barba, Albert Folch, Núria Gaju, Xavier Sanchez-Vila, Marc Carrasquilla, Alba Grau-Martínez, Maira Martínez-Alonso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2019 Author(s). Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is a technique used worldwide to increase the availability of water resources. We study how MAR modifies microbial ecosystems and its implications for enhancing biodegradation processes to eventually improve groundwater quality. We compare soil and groundwater samples taken from a MAR facility located in NE Spain during recharge (with the facility operating continuously for several months) and after 4 months of no recharge. The study demonstrates a strong correlation between soil and water microbial prints with respect to sampling location along the mapped infiltration path. In particular, managed recharge practices disrupt groundwater ecosystems by modifying diversity indices and the composition of microbial communities, indicating that infiltration favors the growth of certain populations. Analysis of the genetic profiles showed the presence of nine different bacterial phyla in the facility, revealing high biological diversity at the highest taxonomic range. In fact, the microbial population patterns under recharge conditions agree with the intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH). Moreover, DNA sequence analysis of excised denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) band patterns revealed the existence of indicator species linked to MAR, most notably Dehalogenimonas sp.Nitrospira sp. and Vogesella sp. Our real facility multidisciplinary study (hydrological, geochemical and microbial), involving soil and groundwater samples, indicates that MAR is a naturally based, passive and efficient technique with broad implications for the biodegradation of pollutants dissolved in water.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-154
Number of pages16
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • ARTIFICIAL RECHARGE
  • BACTERIAL COMMUNITY
  • BANK FILTRATION
  • CONTAMINANTS
  • FATE
  • GROUNDWATER
  • INSIGHTS
  • ORGANIC-CHEMICAL ATTENUATION
  • REMOVAL
  • VADOSE ZONE

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