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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS - Vol. 357 - Feature article
The presence of a photosynthetically active biofilm of diatoms, e.g. Gyrosigma spp., is important for the functional recovery of sediment systems after events of hypoxia Image: Irvine Davidson (low temperature SEM images), F. Larson (underwater photo, montage)

Fredrik Larson, Kristina Sundbäck


Role of microphytobenthos in recovery of functions in a shallow-water sediment system after hypoxic events


Sediments in eutrophicated microtidal shallow-water areas periodically experience hypoxia, and even anoxia, caused by the growth of dense floating mats of filamentous algae. Larson & Sundbäck used mesocosms to study the rate of recovery of basic ecosystem functions (oxygen levels, nutrient fluxes, denitrification processes) of the sediment system after hypoxic events. The benthic microalgal community, which is largely resistant to temporary hypoxia, contributed importantly to the functional recovery of the sediment system by rapid reoxygenation of the sediment surface.


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