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Mediation of macronutrients and carbon by post-disturbance shelf sea sediment communities

Mediation of macronutrients and carbon by post-disturbance shelf sea sediment communities
Mediation of macronutrients and carbon by post-disturbance shelf sea sediment communities
Benthic communities play a major role in organic matter remineralisation and the mediation of many aspects of shelf sea biogeochemistry. Few studies have considered how changes in community structure associated with different levels of physical disturbance affect sediment macronutrients and carbon following the cessation of disturbance. Here, we investigate how faunal activity (sediment particle reworking and bioirrigation) in communities that have survived contrasting levels of bottom fishing affect sediment organic carbon content and macronutrient concentrations ([NH4–N], [NO2–N], [NO3–N], [PO4–P], [SiO4–Si]). We find that organic carbon content and [NO3–N] decline in cohesive sediment communities that have experienced an increased frequency of fishing, whilst [NH4–N], [NO2–N], [PO4–P] and [SiO4–Si] are not affected. [NH4–N] increases in non-cohesive sediments that have experienced a higher frequency of fishing. Further analyses reveal that the way communities are restructured by physical disturbance differs between sediment type and with fishing frequency, but that changes in community structure do little to affect bioturbation and associated levels of organic carbon and nutrient concentrations. Our results suggest that in the presence of physical disturbance, irrespective of sediment type, the mediation of macronutrient and carbon cycling increasingly reflects the decoupling of organism-sediment relations. Indeed, it is the traits of the species that reside at the sediment–water interface, or that occupy deeper parts of the sediment profile, that are disproportionately expressed post-disturbance, that are most important for sustaining biogeochemical functioning.
0168-2563
121–133
Hale, Rachel
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Godbold, Jasmin A
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Sciberras, Marija
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Dwight, Jessica
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Wood, Christina, Louise
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Hiddink, Jan
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Solan, Martin
c28b294a-1db6-4677-8eab-bd8d6221fecf
Hale, Rachel
e5dfde12-523c-4000-ad0e-3431ffeafac1
Godbold, Jasmin A
df6da569-e7ea-43ca-8a95-a563829fb88a
Sciberras, Marija
9cbbf883-04b9-4b11-9b60-79d6d6019498
Dwight, Jessica
e349ed0e-e8cd-432d-a4d8-f638c5a23081
Wood, Christina, Louise
4dac094f-7dd4-4603-8904-3146fead9acf
Hiddink, Jan
bdef5e49-1ab6-43f7-8bb5-ce3b3415f8f4
Solan, Martin
c28b294a-1db6-4677-8eab-bd8d6221fecf

Hale, Rachel, Godbold, Jasmin A, Sciberras, Marija, Dwight, Jessica, Wood, Christina, Louise, Hiddink, Jan and Solan, Martin (2017) Mediation of macronutrients and carbon by post-disturbance shelf sea sediment communities. Biogeochemistry, 135 (1-2), 121–133. (doi:10.1007/s10533-017-0350-9).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Benthic communities play a major role in organic matter remineralisation and the mediation of many aspects of shelf sea biogeochemistry. Few studies have considered how changes in community structure associated with different levels of physical disturbance affect sediment macronutrients and carbon following the cessation of disturbance. Here, we investigate how faunal activity (sediment particle reworking and bioirrigation) in communities that have survived contrasting levels of bottom fishing affect sediment organic carbon content and macronutrient concentrations ([NH4–N], [NO2–N], [NO3–N], [PO4–P], [SiO4–Si]). We find that organic carbon content and [NO3–N] decline in cohesive sediment communities that have experienced an increased frequency of fishing, whilst [NH4–N], [NO2–N], [PO4–P] and [SiO4–Si] are not affected. [NH4–N] increases in non-cohesive sediments that have experienced a higher frequency of fishing. Further analyses reveal that the way communities are restructured by physical disturbance differs between sediment type and with fishing frequency, but that changes in community structure do little to affect bioturbation and associated levels of organic carbon and nutrient concentrations. Our results suggest that in the presence of physical disturbance, irrespective of sediment type, the mediation of macronutrient and carbon cycling increasingly reflects the decoupling of organism-sediment relations. Indeed, it is the traits of the species that reside at the sediment–water interface, or that occupy deeper parts of the sediment profile, that are disproportionately expressed post-disturbance, that are most important for sustaining biogeochemical functioning.

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Accepted/In Press date: 7 June 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 June 2017
Published date: 1 September 2017
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute, Marine Biology & Ecology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 411315
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/411315
ISSN: 0168-2563
PURE UUID: 9c656e38-3a9b-4a5a-9b86-68e0e15658fb
ORCID for Rachel Hale: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5079-5954
ORCID for Jasmin A Godbold: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5558-8188
ORCID for Martin Solan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9924-5574

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Jun 2017 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 02:03

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