Browsing by Subject "Nutrient fluxes"

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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.
  • Maximov, Alexey; Bonsdorff, Erik; Eremina, Tatjana; Kauppi, Laura; Norkko, Alf; Norkko, Joanna (2015)
    Marenzelleria spp. are among the most successful non-native benthic species in the Baltic Sea. These burrowing polychaetes dig deeper than most native Baltic species, performing previously lacking ecosystem functions. We examine evidence from experiments, field sampling and modelling that the introduction of Marenzelleria spp. affects nutrient cycling and biogeochemical processes at the sediment water interface. Over longer time scales, bioirrigation by Marenzelleria spp. has the potential to increase phosphorus retention in bottom deposits because of deeper oxygen penetration into sediments and formation of a deeper oxidized layer. In contrast, nitrogen fluxes from the sediment increase. As a consequence of a decline of the phosphate concentration and/or rising nitrogen/phosphorus ratio, some Northern Baltic ecosystems may experience improvement of the environment because of mitigation of eutrophication and harmful cyanobacteria blooms. Although it is difficult to unambiguously estimate the ecosystem-level consequences of invasion, in many cases it could be considered as positive due to increased structural and functional diversity. The long-term interactions with the native fauna still remain unknown, however, and in this paper we highlight the major knowledge gaps. (C) 2015 Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences., Production and hosting by Elsevier Sp. z o.o.