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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 Oct;71(10):6142-9.

Correlation between anammox activity and microscale distribution of nitrite in a subtropical mangrove sediment.

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  • 1Advanced Wastewater Management Centre, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia.


The distribution of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) in nature has been addressed by only a few environmental studies, and our understanding of how anammox bacteria compete for substrates in natural environments is therefore limited. In this study, we measure the potential anammox rates in sediment from four locations in a subtropical tidal river system. Porewater profiles of NO(x)(-) (NO2- plus NO3-) and NO2- were measured with microscale biosensors, and the availability of NO2- was compared with the potential for anammox activity. The potential rate of anammox increased with increasing distance from the mouth of the river and correlated strongly with the production of nitrite in the sediment and with the average concentration or total pool of nitrite in the suboxic sediment layer. Nitrite accumulated both from nitrification and from NO(x)(-) reduction, though NO(x)(-) reduction was shown to have the greatest impact on the availability of nitrite in the suboxic sediment layer. This finding suggests that denitrification, though using NO2- as a substrate, also provides a substrate for the anammox process, which has been suggested in previous studies where microscale NO2- profiles were not measured.

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