Browsing by Subject "MARINE-SEDIMENTS"

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  • Jokinen, Sami; Virtasalo, Joonas J.; Jilbert, Tom; Kaiser, Jerome; Dellwig, Olaf; Arz, Helge W.; Hänninen, Jari; Arppe, Laura; Collander, Miia; Saarinen, Timo (2018)
    The anthropogenically forced expansion of coastal hypoxia is a major environmental problem affecting coastal ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles throughout the world. The Baltic Sea is a semi-enclosed shelf sea whose central deep basins have been highly prone to deoxygenation during its Holocene history, as shown previously by numerous paleoenvironmental studies. However, long-term data on past fluctuations in the intensity of hypoxia in the coastal zone of the Baltic Sea are largely lacking, despite the significant role of these areas in retaining nutrients derived from the catchment. Here we present a 1500-year multiproxy record of near-bottom water redox changes from the coastal zone of the northern Baltic Sea, encompassing the climatic phases of the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the Modern Warm Period (MoWP). Our reconstruction shows that although multicentennial climate variability has modulated the depositional conditions and delivery of organic matter (OM) to the basin the modern aggravation of coastal hypoxia is unprecedented and, in addition to gradual changes in the basin configuration, it must have been forced by excess human-induced nutrient loading. Alongside the anthropogenic nutrient input, the progressive deoxygenation since the beginning of the 1900s was fueled by the combined effects of gradual shoaling of the basin and warming climate, which amplified sediment focusing and increased the vulnerability to hypoxia. Importantly, the eutrophication of coastal waters in our study area began decades earlier than previously thought, leading to a marked aggravation of hypoxia in the 1950s. We find no evidence of similar anthropogenic forcing during the MCA. These results have implications for the assessment of reference conditions for coastal water quality. Furthermore, this study highlights the need for combined use of sedimentological, ichnological, and geochemical proxies in order to robustly reconstruct subtle redox shifts especially in dynamic, non-euxinic coastal settings with strong seasonal contrasts in the bottom water quality.
  • Rinta-Kanto, J. M.; Pehkonen, K.; Sinkko, H.; Tamminen, M. V.; Timonen, S. (2018)
    In this study, the abundance and composition of prokaryotic communities associated with the inner tissue of fruiting bodies of Suillus bovinus, Boletus pinophilus, Cantharellus cibarius, Agaricus arvensis, Lycoperdon perlatum, and Piptoporus betulinus were analyzed using culture-independent methods. Our findings indicate that archaea and bacteria colonize the internal tissues of all investigated specimens and that archaea are prominent members of the prokaryotic community. The ratio of archaeal 16S rRNA gene copy numbers to those of bacteria was >1 in the fruiting bodies of four out of six fungal species included in the study. The largest proportion of archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences belonged to thaumarchaeotal classes Terrestrial group, Miscellaneous Crenar-chaeotic Group (MCG), and Thermoplasmata. Bacterial communities showed characteristic compositions in each fungal species. Bacterial classes Gammaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacilli, and Clostridia were prominent among communities in fruiting body tissues. Bacterial populations in each fungal species had different characteristics. The results of this study imply that fruiting body tissues are an important habitat for abundant and diverse populations of archaea and bacteria.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Snelgrove, Paul V.R.; Soetaert, Karline; Solan, Martin; Thrush, Simon; Wei, Chih-Lin; Danovaro, Roberto; Fulweiler, Robinson W.; Kitazato, Hiroshi; Ingole, Baban; Norkko, Alf; Parkes, R. John; Volkenborn, Nils (2018)
    Diverse biological communities mediate the transformation, transport, and storage of elements fundamental to life on Earth, including carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. However, global biogeochemical model outcomes can vary by orders of magnitude, compromising capacity to project realistic ecosystem responses to planetary changes, including ocean productivity and climate. Here, we compare global carbon turnover rates estimated using models grounded in biological versus geochemical theory and argue that the turnover estimates based on each perspective yield divergent outcomes. Importantly, empirical studies that include sedimentary biological activity vary less than those that ignore it. Improving the relevance of model projections and reducing uncertainty associated with the anticipated consequences of global change requires reconciliation of these perspectives, enabling better societal decisions on mitigation and adaptation.
  • Carstensen, Jacob; Conley, Daniel J.; Bonsdorff, Erik; Gustafsson, Bo G.; Hietanen, Susanna; Janas, Urzsula; Jilbert, Tom; Maximov, Alexey; Norkko, Alf; Norkko, Joanna; Reed, Daniel C.; Slomp, Caroline P.; Timmermann, Karen; Voss, Maren (2014)
  • 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.
  • Jilbert, Thomas Stephen; Asmala, Eero; Schröder, Christian; Tiihonen, Rosa Maria Elina; Myllykangas, Jukka-Pekka; Kotilainen, Aarno; Virtasalo, Joonas; Peltola, Pasi; Ekholm, Päivi Inkeri; Hietanen, Siru Susanna (2018)
    Iron (Fe) plays a key role in sedimentary diagenetic processes in coastal systems, participating in various redox reactions and influencing the burial of organic carbon. Large amounts of Fe enter the marine environment from boreal river catchments associated with dissolved organic matter (DOM) and as colloidal Fe oxyhydroxides, principally ferrihydrite. However, the fate of this Fe pool in estuarine sediments has not been extensively studied. Here we show that flocculation processes along a salinity gradient in an estuary of the northern Baltic Sea efficiently transfer Fe and OM from the dissolved phase into particulate material that accumulates in the sediments. Flocculation of Fe and OM is partially decoupled. This is likely due to the presence of discrete colloidal ferrihydrite in the freshwater Fe pool, which responds differently from DOM to estuarine mixing. Further decoupling of Fe from OM occurs during sedimentation. While we observe a clear decline with distance offshore in the proportion of terrestrial material in the sedimentary particulate organic matter (POM) pool, the distribution of flocculated Fe in sediments is modulated by focusing effects. Labile Fe phases are most abundant at a deep site in the inner basin of the estuary, consistent with input from flocculation and subsequent focusing. The majority of the labile Fe pool is present as Fe (II), including both acid-volatile sulfur (AVS)-bound Fe and unsulfidized phases. The ubiquitous presence of unsulfidized Fe (II) throughout the sediment column suggests Fe (II)-OM complexes derived from reduction of flocculated Fe (III)-OM, while other Fe (II) phases are likely derived from the reduction of flocculated ferrihydrite. Depth-integrated rates of Fe (II) accumulation (AVS-Fe + unsulfidized Fe (II) + pyrite) for the period 1970-2015 are greater in the inner basin of the estuary with respect to a site further offshore, confirming higher rates of Fe reduction in near-shore areas. Mossbauer Fe-57 spectroscopy shows that refractory Fe is composed largely of superparamagnetic Fe (III), high-spin Fe (II) in silicates, and, at one station, also oxide minerals derived from past industrial activities. Our results highlight that the cycling of Fe in boreal estuarine environments is complex, and that the partial decoupling of Fe from OM during flocculation and sedimentation is key to understanding the role of Fe in sedimentary diagenetic processes in coastal areas.
  • Sinkko, Hanna; Hepolehto, Iina; Lyra, Christina; Rinta-Kanto, Johanna M.; Villnäs, Anna; Norkko, Joanna; Norkko, Alf; Timonen, Sari (2019)
    Coastal hypoxia is a major environmental problem worldwide. Hypoxia-induced changes in sediment bacterial communities harm marine ecosystems and alter biogeochemical cycles. Nevertheless, the resistance of sediment bacterial communities to hypoxic stress is unknown. We investigated changes in bacterial communities during hypoxic-anoxic disturbance by artificially inducing oxygen deficiency to the seafloor for 0, 3, 7, and 48 days, with subsequent molecular biological analyses. We further investigated relationships between bacterial communities, benthic macrofauna and nutrient effluxes across the sediment-water-interface during hypoxic-anoxic stress, considering differentially abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The composition of the moderately abundant OTUs changed significantly after seven days of oxygen deficiency, while the abundant and rare OTUs first changed after 48 days. High bacterial diversity maintained the resistance of the communities during oxygen deficiency until it dropped after 48 days, likely due to anoxia-induced loss of macrofaunal diversity and bioturbation. Nutrient fluxes, especially ammonium, correlated positively with the moderate and rare OTUs, including potential sulfate reducers. Correlations may reflect bacteria-mediated nutrient effluxes that accelerate eutrophication. The study suggests that even slightly higher bottom-water oxygen concentrations, which could sustain macrofaunal bioturbation, enable bacterial communities to resist large compositional changes and decrease the harmful consequences of hypoxia in marine ecosystems.
  • Myllykangas, Jukka-Pekka; Rissanen, Antti J.; Hietanen, Susanna; Jilbert, Tom (2020)
    Methane is produced microbially in vast quantities in sediments throughout the world's oceans. However, anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) provides a near-quantitative sink for the produced methane and is primarily responsible for preventing methane emissions from the oceans to the atmosphere. AOM is a complex microbial process that involves several different microbial groups and metabolic pathways. The role of different electron acceptors in AOM has been studied for decades, yet large uncertainties remain, especially in terms of understanding the processes in natural settings. This study reports whole-core incubation methane oxidation rates along an estuarine gradient ranging from near fresh water to brackish conditions, and investigates the potential role of different electron acceptors in AOM. Microbial community structure involved in different methane processes is also studied in the same estuarine system using high throughput sequencing tools. Methane oxidation in the sediments was active in three distinct depth layers throughout the studied transect, with total oxidation rates increasing seawards. We find extensive evidence of non-sulphate AOM throughout the transect. The highest absolute AOM rates were observed below the sulphate-methane transition zone (SMTZ), strongly implicating the role of alternative electron acceptors (most likely iron and manganese oxides). However, oxidation rates were ultimately limited by methane availability. ANME-2a/b were the most abundant microbial phyla associated with AOM throughout the study sites, followed by ANME-2d in much lower abundances. Similarly to oxidation rates, highest abundances of microbial groups commonly associated with AOM were found well below the SMTZ, further reinforcing the importance of non-sulphate AOM in this system.
  • Naafs, B. D. A.; Inglis, G. N.; Zheng, Y.; Amesbury, M. J.; Biester, H.; Bindler, R.; Blewett, J.; Burrows, M. A.; del Castillo Torres, D.; Chambers, F. M.; Cohen, A. D.; Evershed, R. P.; Feakins, S. J.; Galka, M.; Gallego-Sala, A.; Gandois, L.; Gray, D. M.; Hatcher, P. G.; Honorio Coronado, E. N.; Hughes, P. D. M.; Huguet, A.; Kononen, M.; Laggoun-Defarge, F.; Lahteenoja, O.; Lamentowicz, M.; Marchant, R.; McClymont, E.; Pontevedra-Pombal, X.; Ponton, C.; Pourmand, A.; Rizzuti, A. M.; Rochefort, L.; Schellekens, J.; De Vleeschouwer, F.; Pancost, R. D. (2017)
    Glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) are membrane-spanning lipids from Bacteria and Archaea that are ubiquitous in a range of natural archives and especially abundant in peat. Previous work demonstrated that the distribution of bacterial branched GDGTs (brGDGTs) in mineral soils is correlated to environmental factors such as mean annual air temperature (MAAT) and soil pH. However, the influence of these parameters on brGDGT distributions in peat is largely unknown. Here we investigate the distribution of brGDGTs in 470 samples from 96 peatlands around the world with a broad mean annual air temperature (-8 to 27 degrees C) and pH (3-8) range and present the first peat-specific brGDGT-based temperature and pH calibrations. Our results demonstrate that the degree of cyclisation of brGDGTs in peat is positively correlated with pH, pH = 2.49 x CBTpeat + 8.07 (n = 51, R-2 = 0.58, RMSE = 0.8) and the degree of methylation of brGDGTs is positively correlated with MAAT, MAAT(peat) (degrees C) = 52.18 x MBT'(5me) - 23.05 (n = 96, R-2 = 0.76, RMSE = 4.7 degrees C). These peat-specific calibrations are distinct from the available mineral soil calibrations. In light of the error in the temperature calibration (similar to 4.7 degrees C), we urge caution in any application to reconstruct late Holocene climate variability, where the climatic signals are relatively small, and the duration of excursions could be brief. Instead, these proxies are well-suited to reconstruct large amplitude, longer-term shifts in climate such as deglacial transitions. Indeed, when applied to a peat deposit spanning the late glacial period (similar to 15.2 kyr), we demonstrate that MAAT(peat) yields absolute temperatures and relative temperature changes that are consistent with those from other proxies. In addition, the application of MAAT(peat) to fossil peat (i.e. lignites) has the potential to reconstruct terrestrial climate during the Cenozoic. We conclude that there is clear potential to use brGDGTs in peats and lignites to reconstruct past terrestrial climate. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Uusheimo, Sari Anneli; Tulonen, Tiina Valpuri; Aalto, Sanni L.; Arvola, Lauri Matti Juhani (2018)
    Constructed agricultural ponds and wetlands can reduce nitrogen loading from agriculture especially in areas where warm climate predominates. However, in cold climate temperature-dependency of microbiological processes have raised the question about the applicability of constructed wetlands in N removal. We measured in situ denitrification rates in a constructed agricultural pond using N-15-isotope pairing technique at ambient light and temperature throughout a year as well as diurnally. The field IPT measurements were combined with a wide set of potentially important explanatory data, including air temperature, photosynthetically active radiation, precipitation, discharge, nitrate plus other water quality variables, sediment temperature, oxygen concentration and penetration depth, diffusive oxygen uptake and sediment organic carbon. Denitrification varied, on average, diurnally between 12 and 314 mu mol N m(-2) h(-1) and seasonally between 0 and 12409 mu mol m(-2) h(-1). Light and oxygen regulated the diel variation of denitrification, but seasonally denitrification was governed by a combination of temperature, oxygen and turbidity. The results indicated that the real N removal rate might be 30-35% higher than the measured daytime rates, suggesting that neglecting the diel variation of denitrification we may underestimate N removal capacity of shallow sediments. We conclude, that by following recommended wetland:catchment - size ratios, boreal agricultural ponds can efficiently remove nitrogen by denitrification in summer and in autumn, while in winter and in spring the contribution of denitrification might be negligible relative to the loading, especially with short residence time.
  • Hellemann, D.; Tallberg, P.; Aalto, S. L.; Bartoli, M.; Hietanen, S. (2020)
    Current knowledge on the seasonality of benthic nitrate reduction pathways in the aphotic, density stratified coastal zone of the Baltic Sea is largely based on data from muddy sediments, neglecting the potential contribution of sandy sediments. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of seasonality in this part of the Baltic Sea coast, we measured rates of benthic denitrification, anammox and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) monthly in the ice-free period of 2016 in both sandy and muddy aphotic sediments, northwestern Gulf of Finland. No anammox was observed. The seasonal cycle of denitrification in both sediment types was related to the hydrography-driven development of bottom water temperature. The seasonal cycle of DNRA was less clear and likely connected to a combination of bottom water temperature, carbon to nitrogen ratio, and substrate competition with denitrification. Denitrification and DNRA rates were 50-80 and 20% lower in the sandy than in the muddy sediment. The share of DNRA in total nitrate reduction, however, was higher in the sandy than in the muddy sediment, being (by similar to 50%) the highest DNRA share in sandy sediments so far measured. Our data add to the small pool of published studies showing significant DNRA in both cold and/or sandy sediments and suggest that DNRA is currently underestimated in the Baltic coastal nitrogen filter. Our results furthermore emphasize that the various environmental conditions of a coastal habitat (light regime, hydrography, and geomorphology) affect biogeochemical element cycling and thus need to be considered in data interpretation.
  • Lyra, Christina; Sinkko, Hanna-Mari; Rantanen, Matias; Paulin, Lars; Kotilainen, Aarno (2013)