Browsing by Subject "CHESAPEAKE BAY"

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  • Gammal, Johanna; Norkko, Joanna; Pilditch, Conrad A.; Norkko, Alf (2017)
    Coastal ecosystems are important because of the vital ecosystem functions and services they provide, but many are threatened by eutrophication and hypoxia. This results in loss of biodiversity and subsequent changes in ecosystem functioning. Consequently, the need for empirical field studies regarding biodiversity-ecosystem functioning in coastal areas has been emphasized. The present field study quantified the links between benthic macrofaunal communities (abundance, biomass, and species richness), sediment oxygen consumption, and solute fluxes (NO3- + NO2-, NH4+, PO43-, SiO4, Fe, Mn) along a 7.5-km natural gradient of seasonal hypoxia in the coastal northern Baltic Sea. Sampling was done in late August 2010 in the middle archipelago zone of the Hanko peninsula, Finland. As predicted, the macrofaunal communities were decimated with increasing hypoxia, and the nutrient transformation processes were changed at the sediment-water interface, with notably higher effluxes of phosphate and ammonium from the sediment. Solute fluxes varied even during normoxia, which implies a high context-dependency, and could be explained by even small variations in environmental variables such as organic matter and C/N ratios. Importantly, the low diversity benthic macrofaunal communities, which were dominated by Macoma balthica and the invasive Marenzelleria spp., had a large influence on the solute fluxes, especially under normoxia, but also under hypoxia.
  • Lucena-Moya, Paloma; Duggan, Ian C. (2017)
    We tested whether variability in zooplankton assemblages was consistent with the categories of estuarine environments proposed by the 'Estuary Environment Classification' system (EEC) (Hume et al., 2007) across a variety of North Island, New Zealand, estuaries. The EEC classifies estuaries in to eight categories (A to F) based primarily on a combination of three abiotic controlling factors: ocean forcing, river forcing and basin morphometry. Additionally, we tested whether Remane's curve, which predicts higher diversities of benthic macrofauna and high and low salinities, can be applied to zooplankton assemblages. We focused on three of the eight EEC categories (B, D and F), which covered the range of estuaries with river inputs dominating (B) to ocean influence dominating (F). Additionally, we included samples from river (FW) and sea (MW) to encompass the entire salinity range. Zooplankton assemblages varied across the categories examined in accordance with a salinity gradient predicted by the EEC. Three groups of zooplankton were distinguishable: the first formed by the most freshwater categories, FW and B, and dominated by rotifers (primarily Bdelloidea) and estuarine copepods (Gladioferans pectinatus), a second group formed by categories D and F, of intermediate salinity, dominated by copepods (Euterpina acutifrons), and a final group including the purely marine category MW and dominated also by E. acutifrons along with other marine taxa. Zooplankton diversity responded to the salinity gradient in a manner expected from Remane's curve. The results of this study support others which have shown salinity to be the main factor driving zooplankton community composition and diversity. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Jokinen, Sami A.; Koho, Karoliina; Virtasalo, Joonas J.; Jilbert, Tom (2020)
    Molybdenum (Mo) and uranium (U) contents in sedimentary archives are often used to reconstruct past changes in seafloor oxygenation. However, their sequestration processes are as yet poorly constrained in low-salinity coastal waters, which often suffer from anthropogenic eutrophication but only mild oxygen depletion. Due to the consequent lack of robust long-term paleo-redox reconstructions in such settings often characterized by a shallow front of dissolved sulfide accumulation within the sediment pore waters, inadequate understanding of the long-term drivers behind oxygen loss impedes cost-effective mitigation of this environmental problem. Here, we investigate the mechanisms of Mo and U sequestration in an oxic, low-salinity coastal setting in the northern Baltic Sea where anthropogenic eutrophication over the 20th century has resulted in formation of a shallow sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) in the sediment column of this brackish-water basin. Our results demonstrate remarkably similar patterns for authigenic Mo and U sequestration, whereby the depth and intensity of the SMTZ exerts a first-order control on their solid-phase uptake. Sequential extraction analysis suggests that a large part of the authigenic Mo pool is hosted by refractory Fe-S phases such as pyrite and nanoscale FeMoS4, implying that the Fe-sulfide pathway is the dominating process of authigenic Mo scavenging. However, we also observe a pool of extremely labile Mo deep within the SMTZ, which might record an intermediate phase in authigenic Mo sequestration and/or partial switch to the organic matter (OM) pathway at low dissolved Fe levels. Authigenic U resides in acid-extractable and refractory phases, likely reflecting uptake into poorly crystalline monomeric U(IV) and crystalline uraninite, respectively. Similarly to Mo, authigenic U uptake is active at two fronts within the SMTZ, paralleled by increases in dissolved sulfide levels, suggesting coupling between sulfide production and U reduction. Our results imply that both Mo and U could provide viable proxies for mild bottom water deoxygenation in these settings, through the indirect link between seafloor oxygen conditions and the depth of SMTZ. Of these, Mo appears to more robustly capture variations in seafloor oxygen levels due to the significantly higher share of the authigenic pool. However, temporal resolution of these proxies is limited by the vertical offset between seafloor and the zone of authigenic uptake, and the superimposed character of the signal at a given depth due to vertical migrations of the SMTZ. These results have important implications for the use of Mo and U as paleo-redox proxies in other low-salinity coastal settings exposed to eutrophication.
  • van Helmond, Niels A. G. M.; Jilbert, Tom; Slomp, Caroline P. (2018)
    Anthropogenic nutrient input has caused a rapid expansion of bottom water hypoxia in the Baltic Sea over the past century. Two earlier intervals of widespread hypoxia, coinciding with the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTMHI; 8-4 ka before present; BP) and the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA(HI); similar to 1200-750 years BP), have been identified from Baltic Sea sediments. Here we present sediment records from two sites in the Baltic Sea, and compare the trace metal (As, Ba, Cd, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb, Re, Sb, Tl, U, V, Zn) enrichments during all three hypoxic intervals. Distinct differences are observed between the intervals and the various elements, highlighting the much stronger perturbation of trace metal cycles during the modern hypoxic interval. Both Mo and U show a strong correlation with C-org and very high absolute concentrations, indicative of frequently euxinic bottom waters during hypoxic intervals. During the modern hypoxic interval (Modern(HI)) comparatively less Mo is sequestered relative to C-org than in earlier intervals. This suggests partial drawdown of the water column Mo inventory in the modern water column due to persistent euxinia and only partial replenishment of Mo through North Sea inflows. Molybdenum contents in modern sediments are likely also affected by the recent slowdown in input of Mo in association with deposition of Fe and Mn oxides. Strong enrichments of U in recent sediments confirm that the Modern(HI) is more intense than past intervals. These results suggest that U is a more reliable indicator for the intensity of bottom water deoxygenation in the Baltic Sea than Mo. Sedimentary Re enrichment commences under mildly reducing conditions, but this element is not further enriched under more reducing conditions. Enrichments of V are relatively minor for the MCA(HI) and Modern(HI), possibly due to strong reservoir effects on V in the water column, indicating that V is unreliable as an indicator for the intensity of bottom water hypoxia in this setting. Furthermore, Ba profiles are strongly influenced by post-depositional remobilization throughout the Holocene. The strong relationship between C-org and Ni, Tl and particularly Cu suggests that these trace metals can be used to reconstruct the C-org flux into the sediments. Profiles of As, Sb and Cd and especially Pb and Zn are strongly influenced by anthropogenic pollution.
  • Myllykangas, Jukka-Pekka; Hietanen, Susanna; Jilbert, Tom (2019)
    Estuaries are important conduits between terrestrial and marine aquatic systems and function as hot spots in the aquatic methane cycle. Eutrophication and climate change may accelerate methane emissions from estuaries, causing positive feedbacks with global warming. Boreal regions will warm rapidly in the coming decades, increasing the need to understand methane cycling in these systems. In this 3-year study, we investigated seasonal and spatial variability of methane dynamics in a eutrophied boreal estuary, both in the water column and underlying sediments. The estuary and the connected archipelago were consistently a source of methane to the atmosphere, although the origin of emitted methane varied with distance offshore. In the estuary, the river was the primary source of atmospheric methane. In contrast, in the adjacent archipelago, sedimentary methanogenesis fueled by eutrophication over previous decades was the main source. Methane emissions to the atmosphere from the study area were highly variable and dependent on local hydrodynamics and environmental conditions. Despite evidence of highly active methanogenesis in the studied sediments, the vast majority of the upwards diffusive flux of methane was removed before it could escape to the atmosphere, indicating that oxidative filters are presently still functioning regardless of previous eutrophication and ongoing climate change.
  • Carstensen, Jacob; Chierici, Melissa; Gustafsson, Bo G.; Gustafsson, Erik (2018)
    Coastal pH and total alkalinity are regulated by a diverse range of local processes superimposed on global trends of warming and ocean acidification, yet few studies have investigated the relative importance of different processes for coastal acidification. We describe long-term (1972-2016) and seasonal trends in the carbonate system of three Danish coastal systems demonstrating that hydrological modification, changes in nutrient inputs from land, and presence/absence of calcifiers can drastically alter carbonate chemistry. Total alkalinity was mainly governed by conservative mixing of freshwater (0.73-5.17mmolkg(-1)) with outer boundary concentrations (similar to 2-2.4mmolkg(-1)), modulated seasonally and spatially (similar to 0.1-0.2mmolkg(-1)) by calcifiers. Nitrate assimilation by primary production, denitrification, and sulfate reduction increased total alkalinity by almost 0.6mmolkg(-1) in the most eutrophic system during a period without calcifiers. Trends in pH ranged from -0.0088year(-1) to 0.021year(-1), the more extreme of these mainly driven by salinity changes in a sluice-controlled lagoon. Temperature increased 0.05 degrees Cyr(-1) across all three systems, which directly accounted for a pH decrease of 0.0008year(-1). Accounting for mixing, salinity, and temperature effects on dissociation and solubility constants, the resulting pH decline (0.0040year(-1)) was about twice the ocean trend, emphasizing the effect of nutrient management on primary production and coastal acidification. Coastal pCO(2) increased similar to 4 times more rapidly than ocean rates, enhancing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Indeed, coastal systems undergo more drastic changes than the ocean and coastal acidification trends are substantially enhanced from nutrient reductions to address coastal eutrophication.
  • Johnson, Matthew D.; Beaudoin, David J.; Laza-Martinez, Aitor; Dyhrman, Sonya T.; Fensin, Elizabeth; Lin, Senjie; Merculief, Aaron; Nagai, Satoshi; Pompeu, Mayza; Setälä, Outi; Stoecker, Diane K. (2016)
    Ciliates from the genus Mesodinium are globally distributed in marine and freshwater ecosystems and may possess either heterotrophic or mixotrophic nutritional modes. Members of the Mesodinium major/rubrum species complex photosynthesize by sequestering and maintaining organelles from cryptophyte prey, and under certain conditions form periodic or recurrent blooms (= red tides). Here, we present an analysis of the genetic diversity of Mesodinium and cryptophyte populations from 10 environmental samples (eight globally dispersed habitats including five Mesodinium blooms), using group-specific primers for Mesodinium partial 18S, ITS, and partial 28S rRNA genes as well as cryptophyte large subunit RuBisCO genes (rbcL). In addition, 22 new cryptophyte and four new M, rubrum cultures were used to extract DNA and sequence rbcL and 18S-ITS-28S genes, respectively, in order to provide a stronger phylogenetic context for our environmental sequences. Bloom samples were analyzed from coastal Brazil, Chile, two Northeastern locations in the United States, and the Pribilof Islands within the Bering Sea. Additionally, samples were also analyzed from the Baltic and Barents Seas and coastal California under non-bloom conditions. Most blooms were dominated by a single Mesodinium genotype, with coastal Brazil and Chile blooms composed of M. major and the Eastern USA blooms dominated by M. rubrum variant B. Sequences from all four blooms were dominated by Teleaulax amphioxeia-like cryptophytes. Non bloom communities revealed more diverse assemblages of Mesodiniurn spp., including heterotrophic species and the mixotrophic Mesodinium Chamaeleon. Similarly, cryptophyte diversity was also higher in non-bloom samples. Our results confirm that Mesodinium blooms may be caused by M. major, as well as multiple variants of M, rubrum, and further implicate I amphioxeia as the key cryptophyte species linked to these phenomena in temperate and subtropical regions.
  • Honkonen, Olga; Rantalainen, Anna-Lea (2016)
    The aim of this study was to evaluate the sources, transport and distribution of hydrophobic organic contaminants produced in an urban area. Passive sampling devices (PSDs) were employed in the storm-water drainage of the city of Lahti, in an adjacent boreal lake (Vesijarvi) and along its shore. Samples were analysed for 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 28 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) with a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer. Concentrations of contaminants were elevated in the stormwater drainage and in the vicinity of the stormwater outlets in Vesijarvi, but declined as a function of distance from the shore. Atmospheric PAH concentrations were significantly higher in the autumn than in the summer. Petrogenic PAHs contributed significantly to stormwater contamination, while pyrogenic pollutants mainly appeared to be carried to Vesijarvi by atmospheric transport.