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Role of Eelgrass in the Coastal Filter of Contrasting Baltic Sea Environments
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre. University of Helsinki, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9741-4458
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Number of Authors: 72019 (English)In: Estuaries and Coasts, ISSN 1559-2723, E-ISSN 1559-2731, Vol. 42, no 7, p. 1882-1895Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Coastal ecosystems act as filters of nutrients from land to the open sea. We investigated the role of eelgrass (Zostera marina) metabolism in the coastal filter transforming nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic carbon. Field campaigns following identical methodologies were carried out at two contrasting coastal locations: the mesohaline and nutrient-rich Roskilde Fjord, Denmark, and the mesotrophic brackish Tvarminne archipelago, Finland. Over the 24-h in situ benthic incubations, we measured oxygen concentrations continuously and assessed changes in DOM characteristics and net fluxes of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Ecosystem metabolism modeled on the basis of the O-2 data showed that the systems were either net heterotrophic (Roskilde Fjord; - 1.6 and - 2.4 g O-2 m(-2) day(-1) in eelgrass meadow and bare sand, respectively) or had balanced primary production and respiration (Tvarminne; 0.0 and 0.2 g O-2 m(-2) day(-1)). Overall, initial nutrient stoichiometry was a key factor determining benthic-pelagic fluxes of nutrients, which exacerbated the deviations from Redfield ratios of N and P, indicating an efficient use of the limiting nutrient. A net diel uptake of dissolved inorganic N was observed at both locations (- 2.3 mu mol l(-1) day(-1) in Roskilde Fjord and - 0.1 mu mol l(-1) day(-1) in Tvarminne). Despite minor changes in dissolved organic carbon concentrations during the incubations, a marked increase of fluorescent DOM was observed at both locations, suggesting rapid heterotrophic processing of the DOM pool. Our results underline that the biogeochemical role of eelgrass in the coastal filter is not inherent, but strongly dependent on the environmental conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 42, no 7, p. 1882-1895
Keywords [en]
Benthic-pelagic coupling, Ecosystem metabolism, Nitrogen cycling, Dissolved organic matter, Seagrass, Sediment release
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175949DOI: 10.1007/s12237-019-00615-0ISI: 000489866500013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175949DiVA, id: diva2:1369343
Available from: 2019-11-11 Created: 2019-11-11 Last updated: 2019-11-11Bibliographically approved

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Asmala, EeroKrause-Jensen, DorteNorkko, AlfStaehr, Peter A.
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Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
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