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Spatial patterns of benthic diatoms, carbohydrates and mud on a tidal flat in the Ems-Dollard estuary

Staats, N. and De Deckere, E.M.G.T. and de Winder, B. and Stal, L.J. (2001) Spatial patterns of benthic diatoms, carbohydrates and mud on a tidal flat in the Ems-Dollard estuary. Hydrobiologia, 448, 107-115. ISSN 0018-8158.

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The chlorophyll a content and two operational fractions of carbohydrate (water extractable and EDTA extractable) were measured every three months during one year along transects on a tidal flat in the Ems-Dollard estuary (The Netherlands). Chlorophyll a was used as an indicator of microphytobenthos biomass, which was composed predominantly of epipelic diatoms. Both carbohydrate fractions correlated significantly with chlorophyll a. EDTA extractable carbohydrates were more resistant towards degradation than the water extractable fraction. During most of the year, concentrations of chlorophyll a and carbohydrates were low, but in June, high concentrations of up to 90 mug chlorophyll a/g sediment were found in a narrow zone running parallel to the channel. Maximum concentrations of water extractable carbohydrates and EDTA extractable carbohydrates ranged between 800-1200 and 600-800 mug/g sediment, respectively. The mud content was high (+/- 90%) at the margin of the tidal flat. This was not limited to the growth season of the diatoms, but was observed throughout the year. This indicated that the high mud content at the mudflat margin was mainly caused by hydrodynamic factors, and not by biostabilization. In June, exceptionally high diatom densities were found in sediment with a high mud content. There was only minor evidence that biostabilization by epipelic diatoms lead to a further increase in the mud content of the sediment. [KEYWORDS: carbohydrates; chlorophyll a; Ems-Dollard estuary; estuarine sedimentation; intertidal environment; phytobenthos Dutch wadden sea; chlorophyll-a; intertidal sediments; epipelic diatoms; dynamics; microphytobenthos; biomass; stabilization; resuspension; populations]

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:11072
Deposited On:24 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:31 Mar 2014 10:05

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