Response of soil microflora to impact of heavy metals in zones of influence of railway transport


  • N. Bobryk Uzhgorod National University
  • M. Kryvtsova Uzhgorod National University
  • V. Nikolajchuk Uzhgorod National University
  • I. Voloshchuk University of Matej Bel
Keywords: railway tracks, acid-soluble forms of heavy metals, soil microbiota, ecological trophic groups of microorganisms

Abstract

Monitoring research on the areas intensively and continuously affected by technogenic loading has remained topical until nowadays. The soil as a basic component of many ecosystems, including the structure of its microbial cenoses, remains an informative index of a system’s overall stability. The areas affected by railway transport have been scarcely studied. Due to the above, the aim of this work has been to establish the transformation regularities of soil microbial cenoses of territories close to railways and to establish the groups of microorganisms that are a sensitive criterion of technogenic vehicular influence. For the purpose of microbiological research, soil samples were taken at different distances from the railway track (0, 25, 50, 100 and250 m) within five monitoring sections of the Tchop – Uzhhorod – Sambor railway (in the territory of Zakarpatska oblast). The number of ecological trophic groups was identified by means of inoculation on nutrient media using the method of serial dilution of soil suspensions. The research showed that in all types of soils that were adjacent to railway tracks, the number of ammonifiers and spore microbiota was high due to the high content of heavy metals (beyond the background levels). Besides, the bacterial microflora on beef-extract agar was characterized by homogeneity with domination of enteric bacteria and spore bacteria. Simultaneously, the numbers of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms, micromycetes, oligonitrophils, amylolytic and pedotrophic microflorae were shown to be low compared to the control. Farther from the railway track, pigmental species of bacteria appeared in the soil samples, attesting to the activity of self-purification processes. Correlation analysis of the data showed that the soil microbiota of the railway-side areas was undergoing changes as affected by heightened contents of heavy metals. Existence of medium and close connections was established between the number of microorganisms of ecological trophic groups and the content of acid-soluble lead forms at the levels of 0.72–1.72 maximum permissible concentrations. It was the nitrogen-fixing microorganisms and microscopic fungi that showed a fast response to heavy metals, which was an indication of their possible use as indicators of the ecological state of technogenically transformed soils. 

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Published
2016-03-14
Section
Articles