Browsing by Subject "akvaattinen biogeokemia"

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  • Jäntti, Helena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The Baltic Sea is one of the largest brackish water bodies in the world. Primary production in the Baltic Sea is limited by nitrogen (N) availability with the exception of river outlets and the northernmost phosphorus limited basin. The excess human induced N load from the drainage basin has caused severe eutrophication of the sea. The excess N loads can be mitigated by microbe mediated natural N removal processes that are found in the oxic-anoxic interfaces in sediments and water column redoxclines. Such interfaces allow the close coupling between the oxic nitrification process, and anoxic denitrification and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) processes that lead to the formation of molecular nitrogen gas. These processes are governed by various environmental parameters. The effects of these parameters on N processes were investigated in the northern Baltic Sea sediments. During summer months when the sediment organic content is at its highest, nitrification and denitrification reach their maximum rates. However, nitrification had no excess potential, which was probably because of high competition for molecular oxygen (O2) between heterotrophic and nitrification microbes. Subsequently, the limited nitrate (NO3-) availability inhibited denitrification. In fall, winter and spring, nitrification was limited by ammonium availability and denitrification limited by the availability of organic carbon and occasionally by NO3-. Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) was not an important N removal process in the northern Baltic Sea. Modeling studies suggest that when hypoxia expands in the Baltic Sea, N removal intensifies. However, the results of this study suggest the opposite because bottom water hypoxia (O2< 2 ml l-1) decreased the denitrification rates in sediments. Moreover, N was recycled by the dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) process instead of being removed from the water ecosystem. High N removal potentials were found in the anoxic water column in the deep basins of the Baltic Proper. However, the N removal in the water column appeared to be limited by low substrate availability, because the water at the depths at which the substrate producing nitrification process occurred, rarely mix with the water at the depths at which N removal processes were found. Overall, the natural N removal capacity of the northern Baltic Sea decreased compared to values measured in mid 1990s and early 2000. The reason for this appears to be increasing hypoxia.