A1 Journal article (refereed)
Effects of anthropogenic stress on hosts and their microbiomes : Treated wastewater alters performance and gut microbiome of a key detritivore (Asellus aquaticus) (2023)

Lafuente, E., Carles, L., Walser, J., Giulio, M., Wullschleger, S., Stamm, C., & Räsänen, K. (2023). Effects of anthropogenic stress on hosts and their microbiomes : Treated wastewater alters performance and gut microbiome of a key detritivore (Asellus aquaticus). Evolutionary Applications, 16(4), 824-848. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.13540

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsLafuente, Elvira; Carles, Louis; Walser, Jean‐Claude; Giulio, Marco; Wullschleger, Simon; Stamm, Christian; Räsänen, Katja

Journal or seriesEvolutionary Applications



Publication year2023

Publication date30/03/2023


Issue number4

Pages range824-848


Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/86278


Human activity is a major driver of ecological and evolutionary change in wild populations and can have diverse effects on eukaryotic organisms as well as on environmental and host-associated microbial communities. Although host–microbiome interactions can be a major determinant of host fitness, few studies consider the joint responses of hosts and their microbiomes to anthropogenic changes. In freshwater ecosystems, wastewater is a widespread anthropogenic stressor that represents a multifarious environmental perturbation. Here, we experimentally tested the impact of treated wastewater on a keystone host (the freshwater isopod Asellus aquaticus) and its gut microbiome. We used a semi-natural flume experiment, in combination with 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, to assess how different concentrations (0%, 30%, and 80%) of nonfiltered wastewater (i.e. with chemical toxicants, nutrients, organic particles, and microbes) versus ultrafiltered wastewater (i.e. only dissolved pollutants and nutrients) affected host survival, growth, and food consumption as well as mid- and hindgut bacterial community composition and diversity. Our results show that while host survival was not affected by the treatments, host growth increased and host feeding rate decreased with nonfiltered wastewater – potentially indicating that A. aquaticus fed on organic matter and microbes available in nonfiltered wastewater. Furthermore, even though the midgut microbiome (diversity and composition) was not affected by any of our treatments, nonfiltered wastewater influenced bacterial composition (but not diversity) in the hindgut. Ultrafiltered wastewater, on the other hand, affected both community composition and bacterial diversity in the hindgut, an effect that in our system differed between sexes. While the functional consequences of microbiome changes and their sex specificity are yet to be tested, our results indicate that different components of multifactorial stressors (i.e. different constituents of wastewater) can affect hosts and their microbiome in distinct (even opposing) manners and have a substantial impact on eco-evolutionary responses to anthropogenic stressors.

KeywordsIsopodapollutionfresh waterecosystems (ecology)host speciesmicrobiome

Free keywordschemical pollution; environmental stress; freshwater ecosystems; host–microbiome interactions; isopods

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

Preliminary JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 19:25