Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 229:293 | Cite as

Recovery of Amoebae Community in the Root Soil of M. sativa after a Strong Contamination Pulse with n-Hexane

  • Sandra Cortés-PérezEmail author
  • Salvador Rodríguez Zaragoza
  • Ronald Ferrera-Cerrato
  • Víctor Manuel Luna-Pabello


Microbial food webs tolerate toxic compounds depending on individualistic species resistance and their ability of using alternate food sources. Soil polluted with low-molecular weight volatile organics, such as hexane, diminishes bacterial and fungal communities despite its short residence time. Survival of microbial species depends on perturbation intensity, which in turn restricts resources for amoebae survival in polluted soil. Soil functional recovery from anthropogenic perturbations depends on microbial organic matter (OM) metabolization of pollutants. However, reconfiguration of amoebae community after soil exposure remains largely unknown. A microcosms study was carried out to determine the effects of hexane on the community structure of soil amoebae as well as the importance of Medicago sativa on amoebae community recovering. Hexane had a negative impact on species richness and structure of the amoebae community 24 h after pollution. There was a significant increase in species richness and number of amoebae 30 days after contamination. These two parameters further increased after 60 days from contamination. After 30 days of the initial trophozoites extinction caused by Hexane, M. sativa’s. Root zone showed a significant increase of both species richness and number of individuals. This recovery trend was kept after 60 days when the highest values in species richness and abundance of individuals were shown in both polluted and non-polluted microcosms. In conclusion, M. sativa’s root zone speeds up recovery of the amoebae community structure after pollution exposure.


Soil pollution Hexane Microbial food web Amoebae trophic groups Medicago sativa 



Subnargem grant 2010–11 BM-ex. Sandra Cortés Perez acknowledges the support of Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, UNAM, CONACyT for their support in obtaining her doctoral degree.

Supplementary material

11270_2018_3944_MOESM1_ESM.docx (90 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 89 kb)
11270_2018_3944_MOESM2_ESM.docx (41 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 41 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Microbiología, UBIPROFes-Iztacala UNAMTlalnepantlaMéxico
  2. 2.Área de Microbiología, Campus MontecilloColegio de PostgraduadosTexcocoMexico
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Microbiología Experimental Departamento de BiologíaFacultad de Química Ciudad UniversitariaCubículoMéxico

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