Recolonisation by macrobenthos mobilises organic phosphorus from reoxidised Baltic Sea sediments
2012 (English)In: Aquatic geochemistry, ISSN 1380-6165, E-ISSN 1573-1421, Vol. 18, no 6, 499-513 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In recent decades, eutrophication has increased the extent of hypoxic and anoxic conditions in many coastal marine environments. In such conditions, the nutrient flux across the sediment–water interface is a key process controlling the biogeochemical dynamics, and thereby the level and character of biological production. In some areas, management attempts to drive the ecosystem towards phosphorus (P) limitation, which calls for reliable knowledge on the mechanisms controlling P-cycling. We report a well-controlled laboratory experiment on benthic fluxes of P, when shifting from a state of hypoxic and azoic sediments to oxic and zoic bottom conditions. Adding any of three types of macrobenthic fauna (mysid shrimp, pontoporeid amphipod and tellinid clam) to oxygenated aquarium sections resulted in benthic P fluxes that differed consistently from the azoic control sections. All species caused liberation of dissolved organically bound P (DOP) from the sediment, in contrast to the azoic systems. The shrimp and the amphipod also resuspended the sediment, which resulted in a release of P bound to particles (>0.45 μm). Dissolved inorganic phosphate (DIP) was released during hypoxic conditions, but was taken up after oxygenation, irrespective of the presence or absence of bottom fauna. In the presence of fauna, the uptake of DIP roughly equalled the release of DOP, suggesting that the benthic efflux of DOP following oxygenation and bottom fauna (re)colonisation might be considerable. This is an hitherto overlooked animal-controlled nutrient flux, which is missing from coastal marine P budgets.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 18, no 6, 499-513 p.
DOP, P retention, Bioturbation, Monoporeia affinis, Macoma balthica, Mysis mixta
Research subject Marine Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-83090DOI: 10.1007/s10498-012-9172-5ISI: 000312069200004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-83090DiVA: diva2:573999