In situ spatio-temporal changes in pollution-induced community tolerance to zinc in autotrophic and heterotrophic biofilm communities

TitleIn situ spatio-temporal changes in pollution-induced community tolerance to zinc in autotrophic and heterotrophic biofilm communities
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsTlili A, Corcoll N, Bonet B, Morin S, Montuelle B, Bérard A, Guasch H
JournalEcotoxicologyEcotoxicology
Volume20
Pagination1823
Date PublishedJune 24
Type of Articlejournal article
ISBN Number1573-3017
Abstract

Pollution-induced community tolerance (PICT) uses increased tolerance in populations at contaminated sites as an indicator of contaminant effects. However, given the broad structural and functional complexity that characterizes biological communities, the acquisition of PICT could vary with (i) target community, (ii) intensity of toxicant exposure, (iii) the species succession stage, and (iv) the physicochemical characteristics of the studied site. To assess the spatio-temporal changes of zinc-induced tolerance in fluvial biofilm communities, we conducted an in situ study in Osor River (North-East Catalonia, Spain), which has zinc contamination. Biofilms were developed for 5 weeks in a non-metal-polluted site, and were then transferred to different sites in Osor River with different levels of zinc contamination. The spatio-temporal changes of biofilm PICT to zinc was determined using photosynthetic activity bioassays and respiration-induced aerobic bioassays at T0, and at 1, 3 and 5 weeks of exposure. We also performed physicochemical characterization of the sites, taxonomic analysis of diatoms, bacterial and fungal diversity and profiled pigments of phototrophic communities. We used multivariate ordination to analyze results. In addition to natural species succession, the intensity of metal pollution exerted structural pressure by selecting the most metal-tolerant species, but differently depending on the type of biofilm. Zn-tolerance values indicated that exposure to high levels of zinc had effects that were similar to a longer exposure to lower levels of zinc.