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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 342:15-25 (2007)  -  doi:10.3354/meps342015

Biogeochemical response of an intact coastal sediment to organic matter input: a multivariate approach

Ida-Maja Karle1, Per O. J. Hall1, Ingela Dahllöf2,*

1Department of Chemistry, Göteborg University, Kemivägen 10, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
2Department of Marine Ecology, National Environmental Research Institute, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: We tested the effect of additions of organic matter of different quality (C:N ratio) and quantity on benthic fluxes of ammonium, nitrate, silicate, oxygen and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). Additions were made to intact sediment boxes, according to a 2-level factorial design, and the magnitude and temporal scale of the response were evaluated with Partial Least Square (PLS) regression analysis. Response patterns were followed over a 40 d period following the addition, but only fluxes of ammonium, nitrate, silicate and oxygen for the first 2 d after addition, and nitrate fluxes for the first 8 d after addition, could be used for predictive modelling. The results showed that the response of the microbial community to different qualities and quantities of organic matter may initially be related to its capacity to sequester organic matter, and in the long term, to its growth in response to the respective nutritional supply. The results also suggest that such an experimental approach can be a useful tool for classification of areas with potential risk of eutrophication.

KEY WORDS: Benthic flux · Organic matter · Eutrophication · Sediment · Multivariate analysis

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