Temporal and spatial variations in benthic nitrogen cycling in a temperate macro-tidal coastal ecosystem: Observation and modeling

Type Article
Date 2022-02
Language English
Author(s) Ratmaya WidyaORCID1, Laverman Anniet M.2, Rabouille Christophe3, Akbarzadeh Zahra4, Andrieux-Loyer FrancoiseORCID5, Barillé Laurent6, Barillé Anne-Laure7, Le Merrer YoannORCID1, Souchu Philippe1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ifremer , LER MPL, Rue de l'Ile d'Yeu, BP 21105, 44311, Nantes, Cedex 03, France
2 : Université de Rennes, CNRS, UMR 6553 ECOBIO, Campus Beaulieu, 263 avenue du Général Leclerc, Rennes F, 35042, France
3 : Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, CEA-CNRS UNMR 1572, Av. de la Terrasse, 91198, Gif sur Yvette, France
4 : Ecohydrology Research Group, Water Institute and Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
5 : Ifremer, DYNECO PELAGOS, ZI Pointe du Diable, 29280, Plouzané, France
6 : Université de Nantes, Mer Molécules Santé EA 2160, Faculté des Sciences et des Techniques, BP 92208, 44322, Nantes, Cedex 3, France
7 : Bio-Littoral, Immeuble Le Nevada, 2 Rue du Château de l'Eraudière CS 80693, 44306, Nantes, France
Source Continental Shelf Research (0278-4343) (Elsevier BV), 2022-02 , Vol. 235 , P. 104649 (18p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.csr.2022.104649
WOS© Times Cited 8
Keyword(s) DIN, DON fluxes, Diatom blooms, Hypoxia, anoxia, Monitoring station, Reactive transport model, Sediments

We used field observations, laboratory measurements and a reactive transport model (RTM) to investigate temporal and spatial variations in benthic nitrogen (N) cycling in the eutrophic temperate macro-tidal Vilaine Bay (VB), France. A time series of benthic flux measurements and pore-water profiles of dissolved inorganic N (DIN: ammonium, nitrate, nitrite) and dissolved organic N (DON) was conducted at a single station between April and September 2015 (six times). A spatial investigation of the benthic fluxes was performed in July 2016 at this station and three other stations in the VB. All measurements were accompanied by a large panel of physical, chemical and biological descriptors in the water column. In 2015, benthic ammonium fluxes at the monitoring station varied between 75 μmol m−2 h−1 in spring and were less than 10 μmol m−2 h−1 in summer. The benthic DON fluxes co-varied with the ammonium fluxes, ranging from 100 μmol m−2 h−1 in spring to zero in summer. In the summer of 2016, a phytoplankton bloom occurred and as a result the benthic ammonium and DON fluxes reached higher values than in the spring of 2015, accompanied by bottom water hypoxia at one measured station. Benthic nitrate and nitrite fluxes varied between −31 (towards the sediments) and 22 μmol m−2 h−1 and were explained by the bottom water concentration and nitrification rates. After fitting the existing pore-water profiles, the applied RTM correctly simulated the temporal and spatial variations in the benthic DIN fluxes and predicted that a large part of the deposited organic matter (OM) is remineralized aerobically at the sediment-water interface (SWI). The overall results showed a synthetic pattern of benthic N cycling in the VB, based on the occurrence of diatom blooms as the main source of OM in the sediments. The rapid decomposition of this deposited diatom material at the SWI releases large amounts of ammonium and DON to the water column and rapidly consumes oxygen at the sediment surface. When blooms occur in summer, their decomposition can be followed by hypoxia/anoxia in the bottom water. When blooms are absent, benthic N fluxes are weak and mainly fed by the diffusion from the pore-water. By integrating the present results in a 3D ecological model, it should be possible to more accurately predict the development of bottom water hypoxia in the VB.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Author's final draft 70 4 MB Open access
18 9 MB Access on demand
19 1 MB Access on demand
Top of the page

How to cite 

Ratmaya Widya, Laverman Anniet M., Rabouille Christophe, Akbarzadeh Zahra, Andrieux-Loyer Francoise, Barillé Laurent, Barillé Anne-Laure, Le Merrer Yoann, Souchu Philippe (2022). Temporal and spatial variations in benthic nitrogen cycling in a temperate macro-tidal coastal ecosystem: Observation and modeling. Continental Shelf Research, 235, 104649 (18p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2022.104649 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00748/85996/