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Turbidity, nutrients and phytoplankton primary production in the Oosterschelde (The Netherlands) before, during and after a large-scale coastal engineering project (1980-1990)
Wetsteyn, L.P.M.J.; Kromkamp, J.C. (1994). Turbidity, nutrients and phytoplankton primary production in the Oosterschelde (The Netherlands) before, during and after a large-scale coastal engineering project (1980-1990). Hydrobiologia 282-283: 61-78
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague. ISSN 0018-8158, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Wetsteyn, L.P.M.J.; Kromkamp, J.C. (1994). Turbidity, nutrients and phytoplankton primary production in the Oosterschelde (The Netherlands) before, during and after a large-scale coastal engineering project (1980-1990), in: Nienhuis, P.H. et al. (Ed.) The Oosterschelde Estuary (The Netherlands): a case-study of a changing ecosystem. Hydrobiologia, 97: pp. 61-78, more

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Keywords
    Delaware; Delaware; Lake; Nutrients; Nutrients; Photosynthesis; Turbidity; ANE, Netherlands, Oosterschelde [Marine Regions]; Marine; Brackish water
Author keywords
    Ecosystem; Phytoplankton primary production; Grevelingen sw netherlands; Dutch wadden sea; Extracellular release; Waters; Inlet; Estuary; Estuarium

Authors  Top 
  • Wetsteyn, L.P.M.J.
  • Kromkamp, J.C., more

Abstract
    Turbidity, nutrient concentrations and phytoplankton primary production were monitored in the Oosterschelde before, during and after the construction of a storm-surge barrier and two compartment dams. Flow velocities and suspended matter concentrations decreased severely, causing an increased transparency of the watercolumn. In the eastern and northern compartments, the previously pronounced seasonal variation disappeared. Reduction of the freshwater load and decreasing nutrient concentrations in the adjacent North Sea coastal waters resulted in lower nitrite + nitrate and silicate concentrations. Autumn phosphate concentrations remained at the same level as before the nutrient reduction. Silicate was a limiting nutrient during the pre-barrier period and nitrogen and silicate were limiting during the post-barrier period. Annual patterns in chlorophyll-a concentrations in the western and central compartments showed no obvious trend; in the eastern and northern compartments higher values were measured from 1985 onwards. Primary production during the period 1980-1990 varied between 176 and 550 g C m-2 yr-1. The annual primary production in the western compartment had decreased, while in the central and eastern compartments annual primary production did not change: the formerly existing gradient disappeared. In the northern compartment higher chlorophyll-a concentrations and high annual production suggest that the phytoplankton could benefit from the increased transparency while nutrient concentrations were still high enough to support phytoplankton growth. Changes in photosynthetic physiological parameters were observed which suggested shade adaptation. This is in contrast to improved light conditions and reduced nutrient availability. The apparent incoherence with light-shade adaptation theory may be explained by the species shift that occurred. As a result of the opposite effects of a more favourable light climate and a reduced nutrient availability, together with the resulting species shift, the annual primary production showed a large degree of ho meostasis.

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