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Air pollution below WHO levels decreases by 40 % the links of terrestrial microbial networks

Abstract : Air pollution has a deleterious impact on public health and the environment. There is few knowledge on the effect of air pollution on terrestrial microbial communities, despite the major role of microbes in ecosystems. Here, we designed an in situ trial ecosystem to assess the impact of moderate atmospheric pollution, below World Health Organization (WHO) thresholds, on an indigenous microbial communities, including bacteria, fungi, ciliates, algae, cyanobacteria, testate amoebae, rotifers and nematodes, extracted from terrestrial bryophytes. These micro-ecosystems were placed at a rural, an urban and an industrial site in France and were thus exposed to various levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), from 6.6-67.9 mu g center dot m(-3), and particulate matter, from 0.7-7.9 mu g center dot m(-3). Microbial analysis was performed by microscopy. We determined atmospheric temperature, relative humidity and particulate matter with diameter lower than 10 A mu m (PM10), Cu, Cr, Fe, Ni, Pb, Zn in PM10, and (NO2). Results show a significant impact of chronic moderate exposure to NO2 and copper Cu-associated particulate matter on the global microbial network complexity. This is evidenced by a loss of about 40 % of microbial co-occurrence links during incubation. Most lost microbial links are ecologically positive links. Moreover, most changes in community co-occurrence networks are related to testate amoebae, a major top predator of microbes. Overall, our findings demonstrate that air pollution can have strong deleterious effects on microbial interactions, even at levels below WHO thresholds.
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Contributor : Daniel Gilbert Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 2:46:22 PM
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Battle Karimi, Caroline Meyer, Daniel Gilbert, Nadine Bernard. Air pollution below WHO levels decreases by 40 % the links of terrestrial microbial networks. Environmental Chemistry Letters, Springer Verlag, 2016, 14 (4), pp.467 - 475. ⟨10.1007/s10311-016-0589-8⟩. ⟨hal-01516963⟩



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