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Biological nitrification-denitrification is commonly used for nitrogen removal in Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs). Nitrification, is the sequential oxidation of ammonia via nitrite to nitrate. This process is catalysed by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB), whose cooperation is needed to achieve complete nitrification. They are a phylogenetically diverse guild with pronounced ecological niche specialization and they differ from each other in fundamental physiological and molecular traits. Although the nitrification process in WWTPs has been investigated in depth, the response of microbial
communities are still a focus of considerable interest due to their high sensitivity to inhibitory compounds and environmental factors, that results in repeated breakdowns of nitrification performance. Most of studies have been mainly descriptive and/or exploratory and environmental interpretation has not been addressed. In this study, we focus on the environmental ordination of the relationships between biological variables (nitrifying bacterial community) and physicochemical variables (nitrogen compounds and environmental conditions), to propose new strategies to improve the performance of the nitrogen removal process in WWTPs.