Table_1_Effect of Acidic Industrial Effluent Release on Microbial Diversity and Trace Metal Dynamics During Resuspension of Coastal Sediment.docx

Both industrial effluent discharge and the resuspension of contaminated marine sediments are important sources of trace metals in seawater which potentially affect marine ecosystems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the industrial wastewaters having acidic pH (2–3) and containing trace metals on microbial diversity in the coastal ecosystem of the Gulf of Gabès (Tunisia, southern Mediterranean Sea) subjected to resuspension events of marine sediments. Four trace elements (As, Cd, U, and V) were monitored during 10-day sediment resuspension experiments. The highest enrichment in the seawater dissolved phase was observed for Cd followed by U, V, and As. Cd remobilization was improved by indigenous microbial community, while U release was mainly abiotic. Acidic effluent addition impacted both trace metal distribution and microbial diversity, particularly that of the abundant phylum Bacteroidetes. Members of the order Saprospirales were enriched from sediment in natural seawater (initial pH > 8), while the family Flavobacteriaceae was favored by acidified seawater (initial pH < 8). Some Flavobacteriaceae members were identified as dominant species in both initial sediment and experiments with acidic wastewater, in which their relative abundance increased with increasing dissolved Cd levels. It could be therefore possible to consider them as bioindicators of metal pollution and/or acidification in marine ecosystems.