Modelling nitrogen, primary production and oxygen in a Mediterranean lagoon. Impact of oysters farming and inputs from the watershed

Type Article
Date 2000-03
Language English
Author(s) Chapelle Annie, Menesguen Alain, Deslous-Paoli Jean-Marc, Souchu Philippe, Mazouni Nabila, Vaquer André, Millet Bertrand
Affiliation(s) IFREMER, DEL Brest, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
IFREMER, F-34203 Sete, France.
Univ Montpellier 2, Lab Hydrol Marine, F-34095 Montpellier, France.
Univ Aix Marseille 2, COM, Marine Endoume Stn, F-13007 Marseille, France.
Source Ecological Modelling (0304-3800) (Elsevier), 2000-03 , Vol. 127 , N. 2-3 , P. 161-181
DOI 10.1016/S0304-3800(99)00206-9
WOS© Times Cited 128
Keyword(s) Oxygen, Nitrogen, Oysters, Primary production, Box model, Lagoon ecosystem
Abstract An ecosystem model based on nitrogen cycling and oxygen has been developed for the Thau lagoon. It takes into account the specific features of this Mediterranean lagoon, a semi-confined system with watershed inputs and oyster farming. The ecosystem model uses currents calculated by a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model and integrated into a box model. This model is compared with a year survey data and used to estimate nitrogen and oxygen fluxes between the different ecosystem compartments. The yearly simulation shows that the ecosystem behavior is driven by meteorological forcing, especially rain which causes watershed inputs. These inputs trigger microphytoplankton growth, which is responsible for new primary production. During dry periods, nitrogen is recycled into the lagoon thanks to oysters excretion, sediment release, microzooplankton excretion and mineralization. Ammonium produced in this way is consumed by a population of pico- and nanophytoplankton causing regenerated primary production. Consequently, the ecosystem remains highly productive in summer even without external inputs. Shellfish farming also plays an important role in the whole lagoon through biodeposition. Driven by biodeposition, sediment release is the major source of nitrogen in the water column and causes oxygen reduction. The oysters contribute to the recycling activity by excretion, which supports the regenerated primary production. They are also involved in oxygen consumption by respiration which can cause local hypoxia. Further improvements are proposed before this model may become a functional environmental model for a lagoon ecosystem.
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Chapelle Annie, Menesguen Alain, Deslous-Paoli Jean-Marc, Souchu Philippe, Mazouni Nabila, Vaquer André, Millet Bertrand (2000). Modelling nitrogen, primary production and oxygen in a Mediterranean lagoon. Impact of oysters farming and inputs from the watershed. Ecological Modelling, 127(2-3), 161-181. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3800(99)00206-9 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00000/725/