Inter-Research > MEPS > v631 > p31-47  
MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp

MEPS 631:31-47 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13147

Importance of habitat diversity to changes in benthic metabolism over land-use gradients: evidence from three subtropical estuaries

Jian-Jhih Chen*, Naomi S. Wells, Dirk V. Erler, Bradley D. Eyre

Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry, Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Seasonal rates of benthic gross primary production, net primary production and respiration were measured and whole-system carbon budgets constructed in 3 subtropical estuaries with different catchment land-use intensities to better understand how land-use changes influence benthic metabolism. Annual benthic net ecosystem metabolism (NEM) indicates that systems become more heterotrophic with increasing land-use intensity. This is due to a combination of an increase in the area of unvegetated habitats and the unvegetated habitats becoming more heterotrophic with increasing land-use intensity. Whole-system NEM is closely linked to benthic NEM, highlighting the important control of benthic metabolism on whole-system metabolism in shallow coastal systems. Carbon mass balances show whole-system net metabolism also shifted from net autotrophic to net heterotrophic, with a concomitant switch from CO2 uptake to emission, with increasing land-use intensity. Our findings demonstrate that land-use changes shift whole-estuary metabolism by altering both habitat distribution and within-habitat metabolism rates.


KEY WORDS: Estuary · Metabolism · Habitat · Land-use changes · Seagrass · Carbon budget · CO2 emissions · Net ecosystem metabolism


Full text in pdf format
Supplementary material 
Cite this article as: Chen JJ, Wells NS, Erler DV, Eyre BD (2019) Importance of habitat diversity to changes in benthic metabolism over land-use gradients: evidence from three subtropical estuaries. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 631:31-47. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13147

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
Facebook - - linkedIn