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Towards a sampling design for characterizing habitat-specific benthic biodiversity related to oxygen flux dynamics using Aquatic Eddy Covariance
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre. University of Helsinki, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6375-1598
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Number of Authors: 52019 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 14, no 2, article id e0211673Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Aquatic Eddy Covariance (AEC) technique has emerged as an important method to quantify in situ seafloor metabolism over large areas of heterogeneous benthic communities, enabling cross-habitat comparisons of seafloor productivity. However, the lack of a corresponding sampling protocol to perform biodiversity comparisons across habitats is impeding a full assessment of marine ecosystem metabolism. Here, we study a range of coastal benthic habitats, from rocky-bed communities defined by either perennial macroalgae or blue mussel beds to soft-sediment communities comprised of either seagrass, patches of different macrophyte species or bare sand. We estimated that the maximum contribution to the AEC metabolic flux can be found for a seafloor area of approximately 80 m(2) with a 5 meter upstream distance of the instrument across all the habitats. We conducted a sampling approach to characterize and quantify the dominant features of biodiversity (i.e., community biomass) within the main seafloor area of maximum metabolic contribution (i.e., gross primary production and community respiration) measured by the AEC. We documented a high biomass contribution of the macroalgal Fucus vesiculosus, the seagrass Zostera marina and the macroinvertebrate Mytilus edulis to the net ecosystem metabolism of the habitats. We also documented a significant role of the bare sediments for primary productivity compared to vegetated canopies of the soft sediments. The AEC also provided insight into dynamic short-term drivers of productivity such as PAR availability and water flow velocity for the productivity estimate. We regard this study as an important step forward, setting a framework for upcoming research focusing on linking biodiversity metrics and AEC flux measurements across habitats.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 14, no 2, article id e0211673
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Ecology Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-166552DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211673ISI: 000457744200038PubMedID: 30716124OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-166552DiVA, id: diva2:1293355
Available from: 2019-03-04 Created: 2019-03-04 Last updated: 2019-03-04Bibliographically approved

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