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Dissolved organic carbon in the freshwater tidal reaches of the Schelde estuary
Muylaert, K.; Dasseville, R.; De Brabandere, L.; Dehairs, F.A.; Vyverman, W. (2005). Dissolved organic carbon in the freshwater tidal reaches of the Schelde estuary. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 64(4): 591-600. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2005.04.010
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0272-7714, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 103891 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Marine; Brackish water; Fresh water
Author keywords
    dissolved organic carbon; DOC; freshwater tidal reaches; Schelde or Scheldt estuary; waste water; phytoplankton

Authors  Top 
  • Muylaert, K., more
  • Dasseville, R., more
  • De Brabandere, L., more
  • Dehairs, F.A., more
  • Vyverman, W., more

Abstract
    To unravel the factors that regulate DOC dynamics in the freshwater tidal reaches of the Schelde estuary, DOC concentration and biodegradability were monitored in the upper Schelde estuary and its major tributaries. Although the Schelde estuary possesses a densely populated and industrialized catchment, our data suggest that the bulk of DOC in the freshwater tidal reaches is not derived from waste water. This was concluded from the low biodegradability of DOC (on average 9%), DOC concentrations that are close to the mean for European rivers (4.61 mg l-1) and the absence of an inverse relationship between DOC and discharge. Most DOC originating from waste water being discharged in tributaries of the estuary appears to be remineralised before these tributaries reach the main estuary. Although dense phytoplankton blooms were observed in the upper estuary during summer (up to 700 µg chl a l-1), these blooms did not appear to produce large quantities of DOC in the freshwater tidal reaches as DOC concentrations were low when phytoplankton biomass was high. The fact that DOC concentrations were high in winter and decreased in summer suggests a predominantly terrestrial source of DOC in the freshwater tidal reaches of the Schelde estuary.

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