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An approach for the identification of exemplar sites for scaling up targeted field observations of benthic biogeochemistry in heterogeneous environments

An approach for the identification of exemplar sites for scaling up targeted field observations of benthic biogeochemistry in heterogeneous environments
An approach for the identification of exemplar sites for scaling up targeted field observations of benthic biogeochemistry in heterogeneous environments
Continental shelf sediments are globally important for biogeochemical activity. Quantification of shelf-scale stocks and fluxes of carbon and nutrients requires the extrapolation of observations made at limited points in space and time. The procedure for selecting exemplar sites to form the basis of this up-scaling is discussed in relation to a UK-funded research programme investigating biogeochemistry in shelf seas. A three-step selection process is proposed in which (1) a target area representative of UK shelf sediment heterogeneity is selected, (2) the target area is assessed for spatial heterogeneity in sediment and habitat type, bed and water column structure and hydrodynamic forcing, and (3) study sites are selected within this target area encompassing the range of spatial heterogeneity required to address key scientific questions regarding shelf scale biogeochemistry, and minimise confounding variables. This led to the selection of four sites within the Celtic Sea that are significantly different in terms of their sediment, bed structure, and macrofaunal, meiofaunal and microbial community structures and diversity, but have minimal variations in water depth, tidal and wave magnitudes and directions, temperature and salinity. They form the basis of a research cruise programme of observation, sampling and experimentation encompassing the spring bloom cycle. Typical variation in key biogeochemical, sediment, biological and hydrodynamic parameters over a pre to post bloom period are presented, with a discussion of anthropogenic influences in the region. This methodology ensures the best likelihood of site-specific work being useful for up-scaling activities, increasing our understanding of benthic biogeochemistry at the UK-shelf scale.
0168-2563
1-34
Thompson, C.E.L.
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Silburn, B.
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Williams, M.E.
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Sivyer, D.
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Ingels, J.
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McNeill, C.L.
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Kitidis, V.
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Statham, P.J.
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Solan, Martin
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Kitidis, V.
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Solan, Martin
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Thompson, C.E.L., Silburn, B., Williams, M.E., Hull, T., Sivyer, D., Amoudry, L.O., Widdicombe, S., Ingels, J., Carnovale, J., McNeill, C.L., Hale, R., Laguionie-Marchais, C., Hicks, N., Smith, H.E.K., Klar, J.K., Hiddink, J.G., Kowalik, A., Kitidis, V., Reynolds, S., Tait, K., Homoky, W.B., Kröger, S., Bolam, S., Godbold, J.A., Aldridge, J., Mayor, D.J,, Benoist, N.M.A., Bett, B.J., Morris, K.J., Parker, E.R., Ruhl, H.A., Statham, P.J. and Solan, Martin (2017) An approach for the identification of exemplar sites for scaling up targeted field observations of benthic biogeochemistry in heterogeneous environments. Biogeochemistry, 135 (1-2), 1-34. (doi:10.1007/s10533-017-0366-1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Continental shelf sediments are globally important for biogeochemical activity. Quantification of shelf-scale stocks and fluxes of carbon and nutrients requires the extrapolation of observations made at limited points in space and time. The procedure for selecting exemplar sites to form the basis of this up-scaling is discussed in relation to a UK-funded research programme investigating biogeochemistry in shelf seas. A three-step selection process is proposed in which (1) a target area representative of UK shelf sediment heterogeneity is selected, (2) the target area is assessed for spatial heterogeneity in sediment and habitat type, bed and water column structure and hydrodynamic forcing, and (3) study sites are selected within this target area encompassing the range of spatial heterogeneity required to address key scientific questions regarding shelf scale biogeochemistry, and minimise confounding variables. This led to the selection of four sites within the Celtic Sea that are significantly different in terms of their sediment, bed structure, and macrofaunal, meiofaunal and microbial community structures and diversity, but have minimal variations in water depth, tidal and wave magnitudes and directions, temperature and salinity. They form the basis of a research cruise programme of observation, sampling and experimentation encompassing the spring bloom cycle. Typical variation in key biogeochemical, sediment, biological and hydrodynamic parameters over a pre to post bloom period are presented, with a discussion of anthropogenic influences in the region. This methodology ensures the best likelihood of site-specific work being useful for up-scaling activities, increasing our understanding of benthic biogeochemistry at the UK-shelf scale.

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Accepted/In Press date: 8 June 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 1 August 2017
Published date: 1 September 2017
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Geology & Geophysics, Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems, National Oceanography Centre, Marine Biology & Ecology, Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 410941
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/410941
ISSN: 0168-2563
PURE UUID: 6f382baf-a0df-45f6-8537-0b9e22287fb1
ORCID for R. Hale: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5079-5954
ORCID for J.A. Godbold: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5558-8188
ORCID for N.M.A. Benoist: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1978-3538
ORCID for Martin Solan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9924-5574

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Jun 2017 16:31
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 05:17

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Contributors

Author: C.E.L. Thompson
Author: B. Silburn
Author: M.E. Williams
Author: T. Hull
Author: D. Sivyer
Author: L.O. Amoudry
Author: S. Widdicombe
Author: J. Ingels
Author: J. Carnovale
Author: C.L. McNeill
Author: R. Hale ORCID iD
Author: C. Laguionie-Marchais
Author: N. Hicks
Author: H.E.K. Smith
Author: J.K. Klar
Author: J.G. Hiddink
Author: A. Kowalik
Author: V. Kitidis
Author: S. Reynolds
Author: K. Tait
Author: W.B. Homoky
Author: S. Kröger
Author: S. Bolam
Author: J.A. Godbold ORCID iD
Author: J. Aldridge
Author: D.J, Mayor
Author: N.M.A. Benoist ORCID iD
Author: B.J. Bett
Author: K.J. Morris
Author: E.R. Parker
Author: H.A. Ruhl
Author: P.J. Statham
Author: Martin Solan ORCID iD

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