Induced tolerance in situ to chronically PAH exposed ammonium oxidizers
Journal article, 2017

Sediment was sampled in the vicinity of a long-term source of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) to evaluate whether tolerance can be induced in situ. Total PAH concentrations as well as the bioavailable PAHs were measured, and for nine PAHs the pore water concentration could be calculated. An induced tolerance in the ammonium oxidizing community was detected at the site with highest PAH concentration and tolerance was strongest, although not significantly, correlated to bioavailable alkylated PAHs. In addition, the tolerant microbial community showed a significant lower baseline capability for nitrification with an on average 35% reduction compared to the other sites. Meiofaunal community structure differed between all sites, and the difference was significantly correlated to bioavailable alkylated PAHs and PAH31 concentrations. The results suggest that in order to judge magnitude of long-term effects, the bioavailable fraction is to be preferred, and when possible as estimation of the freely dissolved concentration.


Microbial community

In situ

Pollution Induced Community Tolerance (PICT)




Fredrik Lindgren

Maritime Studies

Ida-Maja Hassellöv

Maritime Studies

Jenny Rattfelt Nyholm

Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)

Anders Östin

Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)

Ingela Dahllöf

University of Gothenburg

Marine Pollution Bulletin

0025-326X (ISSN) 1879-3363 (eISSN)

Vol. 120 1-2 333-339

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