Biogeochemistry

Current research reports and chronological list of recent articles.


The international scientific journal Biogeochemistry publishes original papers and occasional reviews dealing with biotic controls on the chemistry of the environment, or with the geochemical control of the structure and function of ecosystems.

The publisher is Springer. The copyright and publishing rights of specialized products listed below are in this publishing house. This is also responsible for the content shown.

To search this web page for specific words type "Ctrl" + "F" on your keyboard (Command + "F" on a Mac). Then: type the word you are searching for in the window that pops up!

Additional research articles see Current Chemistry Research Articles. General information about this topic see biogeochemistry.



Biogeochemistry - Abstracts



Soil biochemical properties and crop productivity following application of locally produced biochar at organic farms on Waldron Island, WA

Abstract

Biochar (a carbon-rich product from pyrolysis of organic materials) additions to agricultural soils have been shown to often result in neutral to positive influences on soil properties and processes; however, the only a limited number of studies have been conducted on active organic farming systems and of those, none have used multivariate analytical methods to examine the influence of biochar on soil microbial activity, nutrient cycling, and crop performance. In this study, biochar produced from local timber harvest residues on Waldron Island, WA was applied in factorial combination with a poultry litter based fertilizer to replicated plots on six organic farms that were all growing Kabocha squash (Cucurbita maxima) in the summer of 2016. A series of soil physicochemical and biochemical properties were examined after 5 months of biochar application; squash samples were evaluated for productivity and nutrient uptake. Factorial multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed a significant influence of biochar on soil properties as well as a synergistic effect of biochar and poultry litter during a 5 month field trial. Principle component analysis (PCA) highlighted soil total C content, microbial biomass C, enzyme activities, bioavailable P, and phosphatase enzyme activity as the variables most influenced by biochar incorporation into surface mineral soil. Redundancy analysis (RDA) further indicated that better soil biochemical conditions, particularly soil enzyme activities and available P concentrations, were associated with higher crop productivity in biochar-treated plots. Overall, our study demonstrates that locally produced wood biochar, in addition to improving soil C storage, has the potential to significantly improve soil fertility and crop productivity in organic farming systems on sandy soils.


Datum: 19.09.2017


Soil phosphorus supply controls P nutrition strategies of beech forest ecosystems in Central Europe

Abstract

Phosphorus availability may shape plant–microorganism–soil interactions in forest ecosystems. Our aim was to quantify the interactions between soil P availability and P nutrition strategies of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) forests. We assumed that plants and microorganisms of P-rich forests carry over mineral-bound P into the biogeochemical P cycle (acquiring strategy). In contrast, P-poor ecosystems establish tight P cycles to sustain their P demand (recycling strategy). We tested if this conceptual model on supply-controlled P nutrition strategies was consistent with data from five European beech forest ecosystems with different parent materials (geosequence), covering a wide range of total soil P stocks (160–900 g P m−2; <1 m depth). We analyzed numerous soil chemical and biological properties. Especially P-rich beech ecosystems accumulated P in topsoil horizons in moderately labile forms. Forest floor turnover rates decreased with decreasing total P stocks (from 1/5 to 1/40 per year) while ratios between organic carbon and organic phosphorus (C:Porg) increased from 110 to 984 (A horizons). High proportions of fine-root biomass in forest floors seemed to favor tight P recycling. Phosphorus in fine-root biomass increased relative to microbial P with decreasing P stocks. Concomitantly, phosphodiesterase activity decreased, which might explain increasing proportions of diester-P remaining in the soil organic matter. With decreasing P supply indicator values for P acquisition decreased and those for recycling increased, implying adjustment of plant–microorganism–soil feedbacks to soil P availability. Intense recycling improves the P use efficiency of beech forests.


Datum: 09.09.2017


Stability of dissolved and soluble Fe(II) in shelf sediment pore waters and release to an oxic water column

Abstract

Shelf sediments underlying temperate and oxic waters of the Celtic Sea (NW European Shelf) were found to have shallow oxygen penetrations depths from late spring to late summer (2.2–5.8 mm below seafloor) with the shallowest during/after the spring-bloom (mid-April to mid-May) when the organic carbon content was highest. Sediment porewater dissolved iron (dFe, <0.15 µm) mainly (>85%) consisted of Fe(II) and gradually increased from 0.4 to 15 μM at the sediment surface to ~100–170 µM at about 6 cm depth. During the late spring this Fe(II) was found to be mainly present as soluble Fe(II) (>85% sFe, <0.02 µm). Sub-surface dFe(II) maxima were enriched in light isotopes (δ56Fe −2.0 to −1.5‰), which is attributed to dissimilatory iron reduction (DIR) during the bacterial decomposition of organic matter. As porewater Fe(II) was oxidised to insoluble Fe(III) in the surface sediment layer, residual Fe(II) was further enriched in light isotopes (down to −3.0‰). Ferrozine-reactive Fe(II) was found in surface porewaters and in overlying core top waters, and was highest in the late spring period. Shipboard experiments showed that depletion of bottom water oxygen in late spring can lead to a substantial release of Fe(II). Reoxygenation of bottom water caused this Fe(II) to be rapidly lost from solution, but residual dFe(II) and dFe(III) remained (12 and 33 nM) after >7 h. Iron(II) oxidation experiments in core top and bottom waters also showed removal from solution but at rates up to 5-times slower than predicted from theoretical reaction kinetics. These data imply the presence of ligands capable of complexing Fe(II) and supressing oxidation. The lower oxidation rate allows more time for the diffusion of Fe(II) from the sediments into the overlying water column. Modelling indicates significant diffusive fluxes of Fe(II) (on the order of 23–31 µmol m−2 day−1) are possible during late spring when oxygen penetration depths are shallow, and pore water Fe(II) concentrations are highest. In the water column this stabilised Fe(II) will gradually be oxidised and become part of the dFe(III) pool. Thus oxic continental shelves can supply dFe to the water column, which is enhanced during a small period of the year after phytoplankton bloom events when organic matter is transferred to the seafloor. This input is based on conservative assumptions for solute exchange (diffusion-reaction), whereas (bio)physical advection and resuspension events are likely to accelerate these solute exchanges in shelf-seas.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Contributions of freshwater mussels (Unionidae) to nutrient cycling in an urban river: filtration, recycling, storage, and removal

Abstract

Consumers contribute to nutrient cycling in aquatic ecosystems by nutrient retention in tissues, metabolic transformations and excretion, and promoting microbial processes that remove nutrients (i.e., nitrogen (N) loss via denitrification). Freshwater mussels (Unionidae) form dense assemblages in rivers, and affect nutrient transformations through feeding, biodeposition, and bioturbation. However, the effects of Unionid mussels on N and phosphorus (P) retention are not commonly measured. We quantified rates of filtration, retention, and biodeposition of carbon (C), N, and P for two Unionid species: Lasmigona complanata and Pyganodon grandis. We used continuous-flow cores with 15N tracers to measure denitrification in sediments alone and with a single individual of each species. We conducted measurements in an urban river near Chicago, IL, USA that is a target for Unionid restoration. Both Unionid species showed high rates of P-specific feeding and retention, but low N-specific rates. This was in agreement with high N:P ratio in the water column. Each species significantly increased denitrification relative to sediment alone. 15N tracers suggested direct denitrification of nitrate increased denitrification, although enhanced coupled nitrification–denitrification likely also contributed to denitrification. Finally, denitrification rates with and without mussels were used to estimate the value of N loss under different scenarios for mussel restoration at the river scale. Overall, restored Unionid populations may enhance P retention in soft tissues and shells and N loss via denitrification. Ecosystem managers may find greater support for restoration of Unionid populations with careful calculations of their ecosystem role in nutrient retention and removal.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Mediation of macronutrients and carbon by post-disturbance shelf sea sediment communities

Abstract

Benthic communities play a major role in organic matter remineralisation and the mediation of many aspects of shelf sea biogeochemistry. Few studies have considered how changes in community structure associated with different levels of physical disturbance affect sediment macronutrients and carbon following the cessation of disturbance. Here, we investigate how faunal activity (sediment particle reworking and bioirrigation) in communities that have survived contrasting levels of bottom fishing affect sediment organic carbon content and macronutrient concentrations ([NH4–N], [NO2–N], [NO3–N], [PO4–P], [SiO4–Si]). We find that organic carbon content and [NO3–N] decline in cohesive sediment communities that have experienced an increased frequency of fishing, whilst [NH4–N], [NO2–N], [PO4–P] and [SiO4–Si] are not affected. [NH4–N] increases in non-cohesive sediments that have experienced a higher frequency of fishing. Further analyses reveal that the way communities are restructured by physical disturbance differs between sediment type and with fishing frequency, but that changes in community structure do little to affect bioturbation and associated levels of organic carbon and nutrient concentrations. Our results suggest that in the presence of physical disturbance, irrespective of sediment type, the mediation of macronutrient and carbon cycling increasingly reflects the decoupling of organism-sediment relations. Indeed, it is the traits of the species that reside at the sediment–water interface, or that occupy deeper parts of the sediment profile, that are disproportionately expressed post-disturbance, that are most important for sustaining biogeochemical functioning.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Predicting the standing stock of organic carbon in surface sediments of the North–West European continental shelf

Abstract

Shelf seas and their associated benthic habitats represent key systems in the global carbon cycle. However, the quantification of the related stocks and flows of carbon are often poorly constrained. To address benthic carbon storage in the North–West European continental shelf, we have spatially predicted the mass of particulate organic carbon (POC) stored in the top 10 cm of shelf sediments in parts of the North Sea, English Channel and Celtic Sea using a Random Forest model, POC measurements on surface sediments from those seas and relevant predictor variables. The presented model explains 78% of the variance in the data and we estimate that approximately 250 Mt of POC are stored in surficial sediments of the study area (633,000 km2). Upscaling to the North–West European continental shelf area (1,111,812 km2) yielded a range of 230–882 Mt of POC with the most likely estimate being on the order of 476 Mt. We demonstrate that the largest POC stocks are associated with coarse-grained sediments due to their wide-spread occurrence and high dry bulk densities. Our results also highlight the importance of coastal sediments for carbon storage and sequestration. Important predictors for POC include mud content in surficial sediments, annual average bottom temperature and distance to shoreline, with the latter possibly a proxy for terrestrial inputs. Now that key variables in determining the spatial distribution of POC have been identified, it is possible to predict future changes to the POC stock, with the presented maps providing an accurate baseline against which to assess predicted changes.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Seasonal benthic nitrogen cycling in a temperate shelf sea: the Celtic Sea

Abstract

We undertook a seasonal study of benthic N-cycling on the Celtic Sea continental shelf in 2015, augmented by an earlier cruise in 2014. Two cruises in 2015 were centred before and after the Spring phytoplankton bloom and a further cruise was carried out in late summer. Five sites covering the mud to sand continuum were visited on all cruises, where we determined ammonium-oxidation, anammox and denitrification rates, expression of anammox and denitrification genes, N-nutrient fluxes and sediment porewater profiles of N-nutrients. Highest process rates were found during the post-bloom and late summer periods. The Celtic Sea was overwhelmingly a source of inorganic-N to the overlying water column. The efflux of nitrate was controlled by the magnitude of ammonium-oxidation. The latter accounted for 10–16% of total Oxygen consumption in cohesive sediments and 35–56% in sandy sediments. Ammonium oxidation rates in the range of 0.001–2.288 mmol m−2 days−1 were inversely correlated with sediment porosity and positively correlated with organic matter content (OM) which together explained 66% of the variance in rates. N-removal was dominated by anammox (0.003–0.636 mmol m−2 days−1), rather than denitrification (0.000–0.034 mmol m−2 days−1). This finding was supported by the corresponding gene expression data. The expression of hydrazine oxidoreductase (anammox) was significantly correlated with anammox and total N-removal rates. Anammox was positively correlated with porosity and OM, whilst denitrification was correlated with OM. The N-requirement of these processes was largely met through nitrification (ammonium-oxidation) rather than influx from the overlying water column. We estimated that N-removal via denitrification and anammox removed 6–9% of the organic-N deposited at the sea-floor from the overlying water column. The Celtic Sea system was thereby losing N which must be replenished on an annual basis in order to sustain productivity.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Hydrological and biological processes modulate carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus flux from the St. Lawrence River to its estuary (Quebec, Canada)

Abstract

Increased flux of carbon and nutrients from human activities in river basins were linked to acidification and deepwater hypoxia in estuaries and coastal areas worldwide. Annual loads (1995–2011) of suspended particulate matter (SPM), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) were assessed at the Lake Ontario inlet of the St. Lawrence River (SLR) (7110 m3 s−1) and its estuarine outlet at Québec City (12,090 m3 s−1). Internal loads from the Ottawa River (1950 m3 s−1), seventeen other tributaries, urban wastewaters, atmospheric deposition and erosion were also estimated. Erosion (65% of SPM, 29% of TP), inflow from Lake Ontario (42% of DOC, 47% of TN) and Ottawa River (28% of DOC) contributed important flux to the estuary. Loads from other tributaries (20 and 27% of TN and TP at Quebec City) largely exceeded municipal sources (6% of exported TN and TP) and require future remediation. Aquatic plants fixed 277,000 t of C, 49,000 t of N and 7000 t of P (May–Sept.), delaying the nutrient flux to the estuary and turning the SLR into a nutrient sink over summers of lowest discharge. Degradation of exported organic C could consume 5.4–7.1 million t O2 year−1 in the estuary whereas SLR flux of N and P represent 31–47% and 7–14% of total annual estuarine flux, respectively. Carbon and Nitrogen flux from freshwaters partly explain the decline in pH and oxygen concentrations in deep estuarine waters thus highlighting the need to reduce diffuse sources of nutrients in the entire watershed.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Comparing benthic biogeochemistry at a sandy and a muddy site in the Celtic Sea using a model and observations

Abstract

Results from a 1D setup of the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM) biogeochemical model were compared with new observations collected under the UK Shelf Seas Biogeochemistry (SSB) programme to assess model performance and clarify elements of shelf-sea benthic biogeochemistry and carbon cycling. Observations from two contrasting sites (muddy and sandy) in the Celtic Sea in otherwise comparable hydrographic conditions were considered, with the focus on the benthic system. A standard model parameterisation with site-specific light and nutrient adjustments was used, along with modifications to the within-seabed diffusivity to accommodate the modelling of permeable (sandy) sediments. Differences between modelled and observed quantities of organic carbon in the bed were interpreted to suggest that a large part (>90%) of the observed benthic organic carbon is biologically relatively inactive. Evidence on the rate at which this inactive fraction is produced will constitute important information to quantify offshore carbon sequestration. Total oxygen uptake and oxic layer depths were within the range of the measured values. Modelled depth average pore water concentrations of ammonium, phosphate and silicate were typically 5–20% of observed values at the muddy site due to an underestimate of concentrations associated with the deeper sediment layers. Model agreement for these nutrients was better at the sandy site, which had lower pore water concentrations, especially deeper in the sediment. Comparison of pore water nitrate with observations had added uncertainty, as the results from process studies at the sites indicated the dominance of the anammox pathway for nitrogen removal; a pathway that is not included in the model. Macrofaunal biomasses were overestimated, although a model run with increased macrofaunal background mortality rates decreased macrofaunal biomass and improved agreement with observations. The decrease in macrofaunal biomass was compensated by an increase in meiofaunal biomass such that total oxygen demand remained within the observed range. The permeable sediment modification reproduced some of the observed behaviour of oxygen penetration depth at the sandy site. It is suggested that future development in ERSEM benthic modelling should focus on: (1) mixing and degradation rates of benthic organic matter, (2) validation of benthic faunal biomass against large scale spatial datasets, (3) incorporation of anammox in the benthic nitrogen cycle, and (4) further developments to represent permeable sediment processes.


Datum: 01.09.2017


The concurrent use of novel soil surface microclimate measurements to evaluate CO 2 pulses in biocrusted interspaces in a cool desert ecosystem

Abstract

Carbon cycling associated with biological soil crusts, which occupy interspaces between vascular plants in drylands globally, may be an important part of the coupled climate-carbon cycle of the Earth system. A major challenge to understanding CO2 fluxes in these systems is that much of the biotic and biogeochemical activity occurs in the upper few mm of the soil surface layer (i.e., the ‘mantle of fertility’), which exhibits highly dynamic and difficult to measure temperature and moisture fluctuations. Here, we report a multi-sensor approach to simultaneously measuring temperature and moisture of this biocrust surface layer (0–2 mm), and the deeper soil profile, concurrent with automated measurement of surface soil CO2 effluxes. Our results illuminate robust relationships between biocrust water content and field CO2 pulses that have previously been difficult to detect and explain. All observed CO2 pulses over the measurement period corresponded to surface wetting events, including when the wetting events did not penetrate into the soil below the biocrust layer (0–2 mm). The variability of temperature and moisture of the biocrust surface layer was much greater than even in the 0–5 cm layer of the soil beneath the biocrust, or deeper in the soil profile. We therefore suggest that coupling surface measurements of biocrust moisture and temperature to automated CO2 flux measurements may greatly improve our understanding of the climatic sensitivity of carbon cycling in biocrusted interspaces in our study region, and that this method may be globally relevant and applicable.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Editorial


Datum: 01.09.2017


Benthic pH gradients across a range of shelf sea sediment types linked to sediment characteristics and seasonal variability

Abstract

This study used microelectrodes to record pH profiles in fresh shelf sea sediment cores collected across a range of different sediment types within the Celtic Sea. Spatial and temporal variability was captured during repeated measurements in 2014 and 2015. Concurrently recorded oxygen microelectrode profiles and other sedimentary parameters provide a detailed context for interpretation of the pH data. Clear differences in profiles were observed between sediment type, location and season. Notably, very steep pH gradients exist within the surface sediments (10–20 mm), where decreases greater than 0.5 pH units were observed. Steep gradients were particularly apparent in fine cohesive sediments, less so in permeable sandier matrices. We hypothesise that the gradients are likely caused by aerobic organic matter respiration close to the sediment–water interface or oxidation of reduced species at the base of the oxic zone (NH4 +, Mn2+, Fe2+, S). Statistical analysis suggests the variability in the depth of the pH minima is controlled spatially by the oxygen penetration depth, and seasonally by the input and remineralisation of deposited organic phytodetritus. Below the pH minima the observed pH remained consistently low to maximum electrode penetration (ca. 60 mm), indicating an absence of sub-oxic processes generating H+ or balanced removal processes within this layer. Thus, a climatology of sediment surface porewater pH is provided against which to examine biogeochemical processes. This enhances our understanding of benthic pH processes, particularly in the context of human impacts, seabed integrity, and future climate changes, providing vital information for modelling benthic response under future climate scenarios.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Total and heterotrophic soil respiration in a swamp forest and oil palm plantations on peat in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

Abstract

Heterotrophic respiration is a major component of the soil C balance however we critically lack understanding of its variation upon conversion of peat swamp forests in tropical areas. Our research focused on a primary peat swamp forest and two oil palm plantations aged 1 (OP2012) and 6 years (OP2007). Total and heterotrophic soil respiration were monitored over 13 months in paired control and trenched plots. Spatial variability was taken into account by differentiating hummocks from hollows in the forest; close to palm from far from palm positions in the plantations. Annual total soil respiration was the highest in the oldest plantation (13.8 ± 0.3 Mg C ha−1 year−1) followed by the forest and youngest plantation (12.9 ± 0.3 and 11.7 ± 0.4 Mg C ha−1 year−1, respectively). In contrast, the contribution of heterotrophic to total respiration and annual heterotrophic respiration were lower in the forest (55.1 ± 2.8%; 7.1 ± 0.4 Mg C ha−1 year−1) than in the plantations (82.5 ± 5.8 and 61.0 ± 2.3%; 9.6 ± 0.8 and 8.4 ± 0.3 Mg C ha−1 year−1 in the OP2012 and OP2007, respectively). The use of total soil respiration rates measured far from palms as an indicator of heterotrophic respiration, as proposed in the literature, overestimates peat and litter mineralization by around 21%. Preliminary budget estimates suggest that over the monitoring period, the peat was a net C source in all land uses; C loss in the plantations was more than twice the loss observed in the forest.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Vulnerability of macronutrients to the concurrent effects of enhanced temperature and atmospheric pCO 2 in representative shelf sea sediment habitats

Abstract

Fundamental changes in seawater carbonate chemistry and sea surface temperatures associated with the ocean uptake of anthropogenic CO2 are accelerating, but investigations of the susceptibility of biogeochemical processes to the simultaneous occurrence of multiple components of climate change are uncommon. Here, we quantify how concurrent changes in enhanced temperature and atmospheric pCO2, coupled with an associated shift in macrofaunal community structure and behavior (sediment particle reworking and bioirrigation), modify net carbon and nutrient concentrations (NH4-N, NOx-N, PO4-P) in representative shelf sea sediment habitats (mud, sandy-mud, muddy-sand and sand) of the Celtic Sea. We show that net concentrations of organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphate are, irrespective of sediment type, largely unaffected by a simultaneous increase in temperature and atmospheric pCO2. However, our analyses also reveal that a reduction in macrofaunal species richness and total abundance occurs under future environmental conditions, varies across a gradient of cohesive to non-cohesive sediments, and negatively moderates biogeochemical processes, in particular nitrification. Our findings indicate that future environmental conditions are unlikely to have strong direct effects on biogeochemical processes but, particularly in muddy sands, the abundance, activity, composition and functional role of invertebrate communities are likely to be altered in ways that will be sufficient to regulate the function of the microbial community and the availability of nutrients in shelf sea waters.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Dissolved organic matter retention in volcanic soils with contrasting mineralogy: a column sorption experiment

Abstract

There is an increasing recognition that sorption and precipitation reactions between the dissolved phase of organic matter and reactive minerals and metals found in soils are an important carbon stabilization mechanism. We explored the relative importance of this sorption mechanism with pedological shifts in soil properties by conducting a dissolved organic matter leaching/sorption experiment using intact soil cores from a substrate/age gradient in Hawai’i. In the subsurface horizons, sorption of dissolved organic carbon was often positively correlated short-range ordered (SRO) mineral content, with sorption rates approaching 100% when SRO minerals dominated. Dissolved organic matter sorption in the presence of SRO minerals was highly selective towards aromatic compounds, consistent with prior nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy conducted on carbon found in SRO rich mineral soil. In subsurface horizons where SRO content was low (youngest and oldest sites in the chronosequence), sorption was also found to be high but much less selective, more reversible and more degradable indicating that different stabilization mechanisms are operative. These experimental results provide further evidence for a direct mechanism by which volcanic soils are able to store disproportionately high amount of soil organic matter via retention of aromatic acids.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Mediation of nitrogen by post-disturbance shelf communities experiencing organic matter enrichment

Abstract

Microbes and benthic macro-invertebrates interact in sediments to play a major role in the biogeochemical cycling of organic matter, but the extent to which their contributions are modified following natural and anthropogenic changes has received little attention. Here, we investigate how nitrogen transformations, ascertained from changes in archaeal and bacterial N-cycling microbes and water macronutrient concentrations ([NH4–N], [NO2–N], [NO3–N]), in sand and sandy mud sediments differ when macrofaunal communities that have previously experienced contrasting levels of chronic fishing disturbance are exposed to organic matter enrichment. We find that differences in macrofaunal community structure related to differences in fishing activity affect the capacity of the macrofauna to mediate microbial nitrogen cycling in sand, but not in sandy mud environments. Whilst we found no evidence for a change in ammonia oxidiser community structure, we did find an increase in archaeal and bacterial denitrifier (AnirKa, nirS) and anammox (hzo) transcripts in macrofaunal communities characterized by higher ratios of suspension to deposit feeders, and a lower density but higher biomass of sediment-reworking fauna. Our findings suggest that nitrogen transformation in shelf sandy sediments is dependent on the stimulation of specific nitrogen cycling pathways that are associated with differences in the composition and context-dependent expression of the functional traits that belong to the resident bioturbating macrofauna community.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Soil organic matter molecular composition and state of decomposition in three locations of the European Arctic

Abstract

Increased mineralization of the organic matter (OM) stored in permafrost is expected to constitute the largest additional global warming potential from terrestrial ecosystems exposed to a warmer climate. Chemical composition of permafrost OM is thought to be a key factor controlling the sensitivity of decomposition to warming. Our objective was to characterise OM from permafrost soils of the European Arctic: two mineral soils—Adventdalen, Svalbard, Norway and Vorkuta, northwest Russia—and a “palsa” (ice-cored peat mound patterning in heterogeneous permafrost landscapes) soil in Neiden, northern Norway, in terms of molecular composition and state of decomposition. At all sites, the OM stored in the permafrost was at an advanced stage of decomposition, although somewhat less so in the palsa peat. By comparing permafrost and active layers, we found no consistent effect of depth or permafrost on soil organic matter (SOM) chemistry across sites. The permafrost-affected palsa peat displayed better preservation of plant material in the deeper layer, as indicated by increasing contribution of lignin carbon to total carbon with depth, associated to decreasing acid (Ac) to aldehyde (Al) ratio of the syringyl (S) and vanillyl (V) units, and increasing S/V and contribution of plant-derived sugars. By contrast, in Adventdalen, the Ac/Al ratio of lignin and the Alkyl C to O-alkyl C ratio in the NMR spectra increased with depth, which suggests less oxidized SOM in the active layer compared to the permafrost layer. In Vorkuta, SOM characteristics in the permafrost profile did not change substantially with depth, probably due to mixing of soil layers by cryoturbation. The composition and state of decomposition of SOM appeared to be site-specific, in particular bound to the prevailing organic or mineral nature of soil when attempting to predict the SOM proneness to degradation. The occurrence of processes such as palsa formation in organic soils and cryoturbation should be considered when up-scaling and predicting the responses of OM to climate change in arctic soils.


Datum: 01.09.2017


An approach for the identification of exemplar sites for scaling up targeted field observations of benthic biogeochemistry in heterogeneous environments

Abstract

Continental shelf sediments are globally important for biogeochemical activity. Quantification of shelf-scale stocks and fluxes of carbon and nutrients requires the extrapolation of observations made at limited points in space and time. The procedure for selecting exemplar sites to form the basis of this up-scaling is discussed in relation to a UK-funded research programme investigating biogeochemistry in shelf seas. A three-step selection process is proposed in which (1) a target area representative of UK shelf sediment heterogeneity is selected, (2) the target area is assessed for spatial heterogeneity in sediment and habitat type, bed and water column structure and hydrodynamic forcing, and (3) study sites are selected within this target area encompassing the range of spatial heterogeneity required to address key scientific questions regarding shelf scale biogeochemistry, and minimise confounding variables. This led to the selection of four sites within the Celtic Sea that are significantly different in terms of their sediment, bed structure, and macrofaunal, meiofaunal and microbial community structures and diversity, but have minimal variations in water depth, tidal and wave magnitudes and directions, temperature and salinity. They form the basis of a research cruise programme of observation, sampling and experimentation encompassing the spring bloom cycle. Typical variation in key biogeochemical, sediment, biological and hydrodynamic parameters over a pre to post bloom period are presented, with a discussion of anthropogenic influences in the region. This methodology ensures the best likelihood of site-specific work being useful for up-scaling activities, increasing our understanding of benthic biogeochemistry at the UK-shelf scale.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Assimilation and nitrification in pelagic waters: insights using dual nitrate stable isotopes (δ 15 N, δ 18 O) in a shallow lake

Abstract

Nitrate dual stable isotopes (δ15N and δ18O of NO3 ) have proven to be a powerful technique to elucidate nitrogen (N) cycling pathways in aquatic systems. We applied this technique for the first time in the pelagic zone of a small temperate meso-eutrophic lake to identify the dominant N cycling pathways, and their spatial and temporal variability. We measured the lake NO3 δ15N and δ18O signatures over an annual cycle and compared them to that of the watershed. Both δ15N and δ18O of NO3 in the lake increased during summer relative to the inputs. Relationships between lake NO3 isotopic composition and concentrations were different across thermal strata with an apparent isotope effect in the epilimnion of 15εepi = 4.6‰ and 18εepi = 10.9‰. We found a strong deviation of the lake NO3 δ18O and δ15N from the expected 1:1 line for assimilation (slope = 1.73) suggesting that nitrification was co-occurring. We estimated that nitrification could support between 5 and 30% of nitrate-based production during the growing season, but was negligible in early spring and fall, and probably more dominant under ice. We showed that the technique is promising to study N processes at the ecosystem scale in shallow lakes, particularly during winter. Our results suggest that recycled NO3 could support primary productivity and influence phytoplankton composition in the surface waters of small lakes.


Datum: 01.09.2017


Oxygen dynamics in shelf seas sediments incorporating seasonal variability

Abstract

Shelf sediments play a vital role in global biogeochemical cycling and are particularly important areas of oxygen consumption and carbon mineralisation. Total benthic oxygen uptake, the sum of diffusive and faunal mediated uptake, is a robust proxy to quantify carbon mineralisation. However, oxygen uptake rates are dynamic, due to the diagenetic processes within the sediment, and can be spatially and temporally variable. Four benthic sites in the Celtic Sea, encompassing gradients of cohesive to permeable sediments, were sampled over four cruises to capture seasonal and spatial changes in oxygen dynamics. Total oxygen uptake (TOU) rates were measured through a suite of incubation experiments and oxygen microelectrode profiles were taken across all four benthic sites to provide the oxygen penetration depth and diffusive oxygen uptake (DOU) rates. The difference between TOU and DOU allowed for quantification of the fauna mediated oxygen uptake and diffusive uptake. High resolution measurements showed clear seasonal and spatial trends, with higher oxygen uptake rates measured in cohesive sediments compared to the permeable sediment. The significant differences in oxygen dynamics between the sediment types were consistent between seasons, with increasing oxygen consumption during and after the phytoplankton bloom. Carbon mineralisation in shelf sediments is strongly influenced by sediment type and seasonality.


Datum: 01.09.2017






Information about this site:

Last update: 03.02.2016

The author- or copyrights of the listed Internet pages are held by the respective authors or site operators, who are also responsible for the content of the presentations.

To see your page listed here: Send us an eMail! Condition: Subject-related content on chemistry, biochemistry and comparable academic disciplines!

Topic: Current, research, scientific, Biogeochemistry, journal, trends, sciences, letters, list, recent, articles.








(C) 1996 - 2017 Internetchemistry










Current Chemistry Job Vacancies:

[more job vacancies]