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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS - Vol. 417 - Feature article
Aquatic eddy correlation measurements show that hard-bottom communities recycle large quantities of organic material and play an important role in coastal carbon cycling. Photo: G. Ehlme

Glud RN, Berg P, Hume A, Batty P, Blicher ME, Lennert K, Rysgaard S


Benthic O2 exchange across hard-bottom substrates quantified by eddy correlation in a sub-Arctic fjord


Hard-bottom substrates dominate many coastal environments, but studies on benthic primary production and carbon mineralisation have been focused on soft sediments. Aquatic eddy correlation measurements now allow for non-invasive in situ studies of oxygen exchange across complex benthic habitats such as cliffs, reefs, and maerl and gravel beds. Glud and co-workers used this novel approach to show that the productivity of biofilms and coralline algae covering consolidated sand and stone is similar to that of soft bottom sediments, and that microbial biomass is efficiently recycled by the epifauna. At non-photic water depths, filter-feeders covering cliff walls efficiently graze on the pelagic microbial community. Hard-bottom communities thus play an important but little studied role in coastal carbon turnover.


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