Manure Derived Nutrients Alter Microbial Community Composition and Increase the Presence of Potential Pathogens in Freshwater Sediment

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Source Publication

Journal of Applied Microbiology

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Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1111/jam.15232



To determine the impact of an acute, pulse disturbance of nutrients from manure on freshwater sediment microbiomes in an experimental system.

Methods and Results

A controlled freshwater mesocosm experiment was designed to compare the effect of disturbance from nutrients derived from sterile manure (SM), disturbance from equivalent concentrations of laboratory-derived nutrients, and a nondisturbed control on freshwater sediment microbial community composition and function using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Sediment microbiomes impacted by nutrients from SM showed no sign of compositional recovery after 28 days but those impacted by laboratory-derived chemicals lead to a new steady-state (p < 0.05). Carbon and nitrate sources within disturbed mesocosms were the primary drivers of altered microbial community composition. Additionally, multiple potential pathogens (based on exact sequence matching at the species level) were enriched in mesocosms treated with SM.


Nutrient disturbance from SM, in the absence of the manure microbial community, alters the microbiome of sediments without recovery after 28 days and enriches potential pathogens.

Significance and Impact of the Study

These results suggest manure land application practices should be re-evaluated to account for impact of nutrient disturbance on environmental microbiomes in addition to the impact of the manure microbial community.


Journal of Applied Microbiology, Vol. 132, No. 1 (January 2022): 747-757. DOI.