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Carbon and nutrient deposition in a Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) meadow

Gacia, E. and Duarte, C.M. and Middelburg, J.J. (2002) Carbon and nutrient deposition in a Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) meadow. Limnology and Oceanography, 47, 23-32. ISSN 0024-3590.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4319/lo.2002.47.1.0023

Abstract

The annual depositional flux of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorous (P) to the sediments under a northeast Spain Posidonia oceanica meadow was evaluated, and the sources and fate of the material deposited elucidated. The annual deposition of carbon represented 198 g C m-2 yr-1, 72% of which was derived from the seston and 28% from P. oceanica detritus. The depositional flux was poor in nitrogen (13.4 g N m-2 yr-1) and phosphorous (2.01 g P m-2 yr-1), although comparable to the nutrient inputs required to support the growth of P. oceanica. Remineralization in the sediment only returned 15.6 g C m-2 yr-1, yielding a net carbon accumulation of 182 g C m-2 yr-1. Our results show that in the Mediterranean littoral P. oceanica meadows are important sites of net organic carbon burial, derived from sedimented sestonic particles and seagrass detritus.

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:11149
Deposited On:24 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:15 Jan 2014 09:31

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