Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Limnology And Oceanography
We tracked carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) uptake into sediments in the presence and absence of benthic macroalgae using dual stable isotope tracers in combination with compound-specific isotope analyses of hydrolyzable amino acids and phospholipid-linked fatty acids to quantify the uptake and retention of C and N within bulk sediments, benthic microalgae (BMA), and heterotrophic bacteria. Stable isotope tracers (as (15)NH(4)(+) and H(13)CO(3)(-)) were added to mesocosms either via the surface water or pore water for the first 14 d of the 42-d experiment. Macroalgae and sediments exposed to ambient light and dark cycles rapidly took up label from both sources and retained label for at least 4 weeks after isotope additions ended. BMA dominated sediment uptake of (13)C and (15)N, initially accounting for 100% of total uptake. Over time, heterotrophic bacterial uptake became relatively more important, increasing from 0% on day 1 to 20-50% on day 42, indicating a close coupling between BMA and bacterial production. In treatments with macroalgae, sediment (13)C and (15)N uptake was similar to 40% lower than treatments without macroalgae, likely because of shading of the sediment surface by macroalgae, which decreased BMA production, which in turn decreased bacterial production. Overall, sediments served as a sink for C and N through uptake and retention by the microbial community, but retention was lower in the presence of macroalgae.
Temperate Coastal Lagoon; Chaetomorpha-Linum; Nutrient Availability; Microbial Community; N-15 Incorporation; Marine-Sediments; Benthic Algae; Dense Mats; D-Alanine; Growth
Hardison, AK; Anderson, Iris C.; Canuel, Elizabeth A.; Tobias, CR; and Veuger, B, Carbon and nitrogen dynamics in shallow photic systems: Interactions between macroalgae, microalgae, and bacteria (2011). Limnology And Oceanography, 56(4), 1489-1503.