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J Environ Manage. 2019 Jan 15;230:75-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.09.071. Epub 2018 Sep 28.

Reduction of bacterial integrity associated with dam construction: A quantitative assessment using an index of biotic integrity improved by stability analysis.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Integrated Regulation and Resource Development on Shallow Lakes, Ministry of Education, College of Environment, Hohai University, Xikang Road #1, Nanjing 210098, PR China.
2
Key Laboratory of Integrated Regulation and Resource Development on Shallow Lakes, Ministry of Education, College of Environment, Hohai University, Xikang Road #1, Nanjing 210098, PR China. Electronic address: envly@hhu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Rivers are extensively regulated by damming, yet the effects of such interruption on bacterial communities have not been assessed quantitatively. To fill this gap, we proposed a bacteria-based index of biotic integrity (Ba-IBI) by using bacterial community dataset collected from the Three Gorges Reservoir and its upper reaches. Stability analysis based on bacterial resistance (RS) and resilience (RL) to external disturbance was conducted to improve the performance of the index. Four core metrics, i.e. the ratio of Bacilli, Bacteroidetes and Clostridia to Alphaproteobacteria (BBC/A), Oxalobacteraceae, Methanotrophs and Thermophiles were selected after range, responsive and redundancy tests. The improved Ba-IBI, ranging from 1.04 to 4.10, was better at distinguishing sites with or without direct dam effects compared with the unimproved one. The index values maintained high in the riverine sites while reducing in the reservoir, demonstrating the negative influence of dam construction on bacterial integrity. Based on the assessment results, 23.1%, 46.2% and 30.8% sampling sites were large, moderately and little affected by damming, respectively. A Random Forest (RF) regression model was trained and tested, offering a valid prediction of the input Ba-IBI and environmental parameters. Sensitivity analysis revealed the significant contributions of flow velocity towards the predicting process performance, indicating the importance of hydrodynamic conditions on determining the spatial variability of bacterial communities. This study provides not only a first quantitative insight for assessing bacterial response to damming, but also a guideline for applying the improved index in the dam regulation and ecological protection.

KEYWORDS:

Bacterial communities; Index of biotic integrity; Random forest; Sensitivity analysis; Stability analysis; The three Gorges dam

PMID:
30273786
DOI:
10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.09.071
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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