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Microbial cycling of iron and sulfur in acidic coal mining lake sediments

Microbial cycling of iron and sulfur in acidic coal mining lake sediments Lakes caused by coal mining processes are characterized by low pH, low nutrient status, and high concentrations of Fe(II) and sulfate due to the oxidation of pyrite in the surrounding mine tailings. Fe(III) produced during Fe(II) oxidation precipitates to the anoxic acidic sediment, where the microbial reduction of Fe(III) is the dominant electron-accepting process for the oxidation of organic matter, apparently mediated by acidophilic Acidiphilium species. Those bacteria can reduce a great variety of Fe(III)-(hydr)oxides and reduce Fe(III) and oxygen simultaneously which might be due to the small differences in the redox potentials under low pH conditions. Due to the absence of sulfide, Fe(II) formed in the upper 6 cm of the sediment diffuses to oxic zones in the water layer where itcan be reoxidized by Acidithiobacillus species. Thus, acidic conditions are stabilized by the cycling of iron which inhibits fermentative and sulfate-reducing activities. With increasing sediment depth, the amount of reactive iron decrease, the pH increases above 5, and fermentative and as yet unknown Fe(III)-reducing bacteria are also involved in the reduction of Fe(III). Sulfate is reduced apparently by the activity of spore-forming sulfate reducers including new species of Desulfosporosinus that have their pH optimum similar to in situconditions and are not capable of growth at pH 7. However, generation of alkalinity via sulfate reduction is reduced by the anaerobic reoxidation of sulfide back to sulfate. Thus, the microbial cycling of iron at the oxic-anoxic interface and the anaerobic cycling of sulfur maintains environmental conditions appropriate for acidophilic Fe(III)-reducing and acid-tolerant sulfate-reducing microbial communities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Water, Air and Soil Pollution: Focus Springer Journals

Microbial cycling of iron and sulfur in acidic coal mining lake sediments

Water, Air and Soil Pollution: Focus , Volume 3 (1) – Oct 8, 2004

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References (90)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Environment; Hydrogeology; Atmospheric Protection/Air Quality Control/Air Pollution
ISSN
1567-7230
eISSN
1573-2940
DOI
10.1023/A:1022103419928
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Lakes caused by coal mining processes are characterized by low pH, low nutrient status, and high concentrations of Fe(II) and sulfate due to the oxidation of pyrite in the surrounding mine tailings. Fe(III) produced during Fe(II) oxidation precipitates to the anoxic acidic sediment, where the microbial reduction of Fe(III) is the dominant electron-accepting process for the oxidation of organic matter, apparently mediated by acidophilic Acidiphilium species. Those bacteria can reduce a great variety of Fe(III)-(hydr)oxides and reduce Fe(III) and oxygen simultaneously which might be due to the small differences in the redox potentials under low pH conditions. Due to the absence of sulfide, Fe(II) formed in the upper 6 cm of the sediment diffuses to oxic zones in the water layer where itcan be reoxidized by Acidithiobacillus species. Thus, acidic conditions are stabilized by the cycling of iron which inhibits fermentative and sulfate-reducing activities. With increasing sediment depth, the amount of reactive iron decrease, the pH increases above 5, and fermentative and as yet unknown Fe(III)-reducing bacteria are also involved in the reduction of Fe(III). Sulfate is reduced apparently by the activity of spore-forming sulfate reducers including new species of Desulfosporosinus that have their pH optimum similar to in situconditions and are not capable of growth at pH 7. However, generation of alkalinity via sulfate reduction is reduced by the anaerobic reoxidation of sulfide back to sulfate. Thus, the microbial cycling of iron at the oxic-anoxic interface and the anaerobic cycling of sulfur maintains environmental conditions appropriate for acidophilic Fe(III)-reducing and acid-tolerant sulfate-reducing microbial communities.

Journal

Water, Air and Soil Pollution: FocusSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 8, 2004

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