Chao Zhu1, Jianmin Chen 1,2,3, Xinfeng Wang1, Jiarong Li1, Min Wei1, Caihong Xu1, Xianmang Xu1, Aijun Ding3, Jeffrey L. Collett, Jr.4

Environment Research Institute, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shandong University, Ji’nan 250100, China
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
Institute for Climate and Global Change Research, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210008, China
Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA


Received: November 21, 2016
Revised: March 21, 2017
Accepted: March 25, 2017
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Cite this article:

Zhu, C., Chen, J., Wang, X., Li, J., Wei, M., Xu, C., Xu, X., Ding, A. and Collett, Jr., J.L. (2018). Chemical Composition and Bacterial Community in Size-Resolved Cloud Water at the Summit of Mt. Tai, China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 18: 1-14.


  • Size-resolved cloud samples were collected via a three-stage collector at Mt. Tai.
  • The pH value tended to decrease with the declining droplets size.
  • Dominant ions (NH4+, SO42–, NO3 and Ca2+) showed diverse regular size distribution.
  • Difference existed among the size-resolved bacterial community.
  • The pH value, H2O2, NO2 and trace metals had complex impacts on bacterial community.


A three-stage collector was used to collect size-resolved cloud samples at the summit of Mt. Tai. Subsequently, analyses of pH values, water-soluble ions, and trace metals were performed and bacterial community were conducted using MiSeq amplicon sequencing. The pH values of the samples decreased as droplet sizes decreased. Sulfate (SO42–), nitrate (NO3) and ammonium (NH4+) were the main secondary inorganic ions which their concentration distributed significantly different from size-resolved cloud water. The NH4+ concentration was higher in smaller droplets. The SO42– and NO3 concentrations were higher in larger droplets. The Ca2+ concentration increased as droplet size increased. Small droplet samples tended to have lower pH value, mainly because of the more acidic (SO42– and NO3) and less acid-neutralizing (NH4+ and Ca2+) components. The bacterial community in size-resolved cloud samples were firstly recognized and dominated by the genera of Lactococcus (average abundance 34.9%) and Bacillus (average abundance 34.0%). Linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe) revealed differences of the bacterial community in size-resolved cloud water samples, which was probably caused by the bacterial size. Redundancy analysis suggested several minor correlations that the H2O2, NO2 concentrations, and trace metals exert effects on the bacterial community.

Keywords: Cloud sample; Three-stage collector; Chemical composition; Bacterial community.


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