AME 13:295-301 (1997)  -  doi:10.3354/ame013295

Effect of naturally occurring bromophenols on sulfate reduction and ammonia oxidation in intertidal sediments

Giray C, King GM

We examined the effect on ammonium oxidation and sulfate reduction of several brominated compounds [4-bromophenol, 2,4-dibromophenol (2,4-DBP), 2,6-dibromophenol and 2,4,6-tribromophenol] that occur naturally in enteropneusts. We compared rates of these processes with and without bromoorganics using bulk intertidal sediments and burrow wall sediments from 3 enteropneust species (2 containing 2,4-DBP and 1 containing 2,3,4-tribromopyrrole), a mollusc (Mya arenaria) and a polychaete (Nereis virens). Sulfate reduction in bulk sediment was unaffected by bromophenols at concentrations <100 nmol cm-3 sediment, but was inhibited temporarily at 1 μmol cm-3. Sulfate reduction in burrow wall sediments differed from bulk sediments, but was not correlated with concentrations of naturally occurring bromophenols. Ammonium oxidation was inhibited in surface sediments by bromophenol concentrations as low as 1 nmol cm-3 sediment. Ammonium oxidation was enhanced in burrow wall sediments of N. virens, M. arenaria and the enteropneust Saccoglossus bromophenolosus relative to surface sediments, but was markedly lower and negatively correlated with ambient 2,4-DBP in burrow wall sediments of a second enteropneust, Protoglossus graveolens.


Marine biogeochemistry · Enteropneusts · Bromophenols · Sulfate reduction · Ammonium oxidation · Microbial inhibition


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