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Journal of Hazardous Materials
Volume 415, 2021, 125722

High time-resolved characterization of airborne microbial community during a typical haze pollution process

Zhengsheng Xiea, Shengli Dua, Tianfeng Maa, Junli Houa, Xuelin Zenga, Yanpeng Lia,b

School of Water and Environment, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710054, China.


Variations of bioaerosol characteristics during the process of haze pollution have rarely been explored. In this study, high time-resolved variations of the community structures of bacteria, fungi, and ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms (AOMs) were assessed during a typical haze pollution process. The impacts of meteorological factors, water-soluble inorganic ions (WSII), and organic dicarboxylic acids (DCA) on the airborne microbial community were systematically evaluated. The results showed that the bacterial community varied greatly during the formation stages of haze pollution, and tended to stabilize with the further development of haze pollution. Nevertheless, variations of the fungal community lasted throughout the whole haze pollution process. Furthermore, Nitrososphaera absolutely dominated the ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and declined as PM2.5 burst. Network analysis identified relatively weak interactions and co-occurrence patterns between dominant fungal genera. Importantly, dust source ions and PM2.5 acidity exerted the most significant impacts on bacterial and fungal communities. These results identify the high time-resolved variations of airborne microbial communities during the formation and development of haze pollution process, and provide valuable data to better understand the interaction between bioaerosols and haze pollution.

Keywords: Haze pollution, High time-resolved, Fine particulate matter, Airborne microbial community, Atmospheric chemical compositions.

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