The sediment microbial community in downstream-linked lakes can be affected by the operation of large-scale water conservancy projects. The present study determined Illumina reads (16S rRNA gene amplicons) to analyze and compare the bacterial communities from sediments in Dongting Lake (China) before and after impoundment of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD), the largest hydroelectric project in the world. Bacterial communities in sediment samples in Dongting Lake before impoundment of the TGD (the high water period) had a higher diversity than after impoundment of the TGD (the low water period). The most abundant phylum in the sediment samples was Proteobacteria (36.4%-51.5%), and this result was due to the significant abundance of Betaproteobacteria and Deltaproteobacteria in the sediment samples before impoundment of the TGD and the abundance of Gammaproteobacteria in the sediment samples after impoundment of the TGD. In addition, bacterial sequences of the sediment samples are also affiliated with Acidobacteria (11.0% on average), Chloroflexi (10.9% on average), Bacteroidetes (6.7% on average), and Nitrospirae (5.1% on average). Variations in the composition of the bacterial community within some sediment samples from the river estuary into Dongting Lake were related to the pH values. The bacterial community in the samples from the three lake districts of Dongting Lake before and after impoundment of the TGD was linked to the nutrient concentration.
Keywords: bacterial community; high throughput sequencing; impoundment; sediment; water period.