Role of Eelgrass in the Coastal Filter of Contrasting Baltic Sea Environments

Eero Asmala, Camilla Gustafsson, Dorte Krause-Jensen, Alf Norkko, Heather Reader, Peter A. Staehr, Jacob Carstensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Coastal ecosystems act as filters of nutrients from land to the open sea. We investigated the role of eelgrass (Zostera marina) metabolism in the coastal filter transforming nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic carbon. Field campaigns following identical methodologies were carried out at two contrasting coastal locations: the mesohaline and nutrient-rich Roskilde Fjord, Denmark, and the mesotrophic brackish Tvärminne archipelago, Finland. Over the 24-h in situ benthic incubations, we measured oxygen concentrations continuously and assessed changes in DOM characteristics and net fluxes of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Ecosystem metabolism modeled on the basis of the O2 data showed that the systems were either net heterotrophic (Roskilde Fjord; − 1.6 and − 2.4 g O2 m−2 day−1 in eelgrass meadow and bare sand, respectively) or had balanced primary production and respiration (Tvärminne; 0.0 and 0.2 g O2 m−2 day−1). Overall, initial nutrient stoichiometry was a key factor determining benthic–pelagic fluxes of nutrients, which exacerbated the deviations from Redfield ratios of N and P, indicating an efficient use of the limiting nutrient. A net diel uptake of dissolved inorganic N was observed at both locations (− 2.3 μmol l−1 day−1 in Roskilde Fjord and − 0.1 μmol l−1 day−1 in Tvärminne). Despite minor changes in dissolved organic carbon concentrations during the incubations, a marked increase of fluorescent DOM was observed at both locations, suggesting rapid heterotrophic processing of the DOM pool. Our results underline that the biogeochemical role of eelgrass in the coastal filter is not inherent, but strongly dependent on the environmental conditions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEstuaries and Coasts
ISSN1559-2731
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

Cite this

Asmala, Eero ; Gustafsson, Camilla ; Krause-Jensen, Dorte ; Norkko, Alf ; Reader, Heather ; Staehr, Peter A. ; Carstensen, Jacob. / Role of Eelgrass in the Coastal Filter of Contrasting Baltic Sea Environments. In: Estuaries and Coasts. 2019.
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title = "Role of Eelgrass in the Coastal Filter of Contrasting Baltic Sea Environments",
abstract = "Coastal ecosystems act as filters of nutrients from land to the open sea. We investigated the role of eelgrass (Zostera marina) metabolism in the coastal filter transforming nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic carbon. Field campaigns following identical methodologies were carried out at two contrasting coastal locations: the mesohaline and nutrient-rich Roskilde Fjord, Denmark, and the mesotrophic brackish Tv{\"a}rminne archipelago, Finland. Over the 24-h in situ benthic incubations, we measured oxygen concentrations continuously and assessed changes in DOM characteristics and net fluxes of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Ecosystem metabolism modeled on the basis of the O2 data showed that the systems were either net heterotrophic (Roskilde Fjord; − 1.6 and − 2.4 g O2 m−2 day−1 in eelgrass meadow and bare sand, respectively) or had balanced primary production and respiration (Tv{\"a}rminne; 0.0 and 0.2 g O2 m−2 day−1). Overall, initial nutrient stoichiometry was a key factor determining benthic–pelagic fluxes of nutrients, which exacerbated the deviations from Redfield ratios of N and P, indicating an efficient use of the limiting nutrient. A net diel uptake of dissolved inorganic N was observed at both locations (− 2.3 μmol l−1 day−1 in Roskilde Fjord and − 0.1 μmol l−1 day−1 in Tv{\"a}rminne). Despite minor changes in dissolved organic carbon concentrations during the incubations, a marked increase of fluorescent DOM was observed at both locations, suggesting rapid heterotrophic processing of the DOM pool. Our results underline that the biogeochemical role of eelgrass in the coastal filter is not inherent, but strongly dependent on the environmental conditions.",
keywords = "1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology",
author = "Eero Asmala and Camilla Gustafsson and Dorte Krause-Jensen and Alf Norkko and Heather Reader and Staehr, {Peter A.} and Jacob Carstensen",
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doi = "10.1007/s12237-019-00615-0",
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Role of Eelgrass in the Coastal Filter of Contrasting Baltic Sea Environments. / Asmala, Eero; Gustafsson, Camilla; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Norkko, Alf; Reader, Heather; Staehr, Peter A.; Carstensen, Jacob.

In: Estuaries and Coasts, 29.07.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Role of Eelgrass in the Coastal Filter of Contrasting Baltic Sea Environments

AU - Asmala, Eero

AU - Gustafsson, Camilla

AU - Krause-Jensen, Dorte

AU - Norkko, Alf

AU - Reader, Heather

AU - Staehr, Peter A.

AU - Carstensen, Jacob

PY - 2019/7/29

Y1 - 2019/7/29

N2 - Coastal ecosystems act as filters of nutrients from land to the open sea. We investigated the role of eelgrass (Zostera marina) metabolism in the coastal filter transforming nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic carbon. Field campaigns following identical methodologies were carried out at two contrasting coastal locations: the mesohaline and nutrient-rich Roskilde Fjord, Denmark, and the mesotrophic brackish Tvärminne archipelago, Finland. Over the 24-h in situ benthic incubations, we measured oxygen concentrations continuously and assessed changes in DOM characteristics and net fluxes of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Ecosystem metabolism modeled on the basis of the O2 data showed that the systems were either net heterotrophic (Roskilde Fjord; − 1.6 and − 2.4 g O2 m−2 day−1 in eelgrass meadow and bare sand, respectively) or had balanced primary production and respiration (Tvärminne; 0.0 and 0.2 g O2 m−2 day−1). Overall, initial nutrient stoichiometry was a key factor determining benthic–pelagic fluxes of nutrients, which exacerbated the deviations from Redfield ratios of N and P, indicating an efficient use of the limiting nutrient. A net diel uptake of dissolved inorganic N was observed at both locations (− 2.3 μmol l−1 day−1 in Roskilde Fjord and − 0.1 μmol l−1 day−1 in Tvärminne). Despite minor changes in dissolved organic carbon concentrations during the incubations, a marked increase of fluorescent DOM was observed at both locations, suggesting rapid heterotrophic processing of the DOM pool. Our results underline that the biogeochemical role of eelgrass in the coastal filter is not inherent, but strongly dependent on the environmental conditions.

AB - Coastal ecosystems act as filters of nutrients from land to the open sea. We investigated the role of eelgrass (Zostera marina) metabolism in the coastal filter transforming nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic carbon. Field campaigns following identical methodologies were carried out at two contrasting coastal locations: the mesohaline and nutrient-rich Roskilde Fjord, Denmark, and the mesotrophic brackish Tvärminne archipelago, Finland. Over the 24-h in situ benthic incubations, we measured oxygen concentrations continuously and assessed changes in DOM characteristics and net fluxes of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Ecosystem metabolism modeled on the basis of the O2 data showed that the systems were either net heterotrophic (Roskilde Fjord; − 1.6 and − 2.4 g O2 m−2 day−1 in eelgrass meadow and bare sand, respectively) or had balanced primary production and respiration (Tvärminne; 0.0 and 0.2 g O2 m−2 day−1). Overall, initial nutrient stoichiometry was a key factor determining benthic–pelagic fluxes of nutrients, which exacerbated the deviations from Redfield ratios of N and P, indicating an efficient use of the limiting nutrient. A net diel uptake of dissolved inorganic N was observed at both locations (− 2.3 μmol l−1 day−1 in Roskilde Fjord and − 0.1 μmol l−1 day−1 in Tvärminne). Despite minor changes in dissolved organic carbon concentrations during the incubations, a marked increase of fluorescent DOM was observed at both locations, suggesting rapid heterotrophic processing of the DOM pool. Our results underline that the biogeochemical role of eelgrass in the coastal filter is not inherent, but strongly dependent on the environmental conditions.

KW - 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

U2 - 10.1007/s12237-019-00615-0

DO - 10.1007/s12237-019-00615-0

M3 - Article

JO - Estuaries and Coasts

JF - Estuaries and Coasts

SN - 1559-2723

ER -