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Particulate carbon: nitrogen relations in Northern Chesapeake Bay
Flemer, D.A.; Biggs, R.B. (1971). Particulate carbon: nitrogen relations in Northern Chesapeake Bay. J. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. 28(6): 911-918
In: Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. The Fisheries Research Board of Canada: Toronto. ISSN 0015-296x, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Flemer, D.A.
  • Biggs, R.B.

    The Susquehanna River annually supplies about 8.4x104 and 4.7x103 metric tons of particulate carbon (PC) and nitrogen (PN), respectively, to upper Chesapeake Bay. In the upper bay, the conc of PN usually ranges between 0.10 and 0.30 mg l-1 and is occasionally >0.50 mg l-1. In the lower study area, the conc of PN stabilizes near 0.10 mg l-1. Maximum values of the carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratio (atomic basis) occurred in the upper bay, and highest values were associated with the late-winter thaw period of the Susquehanna River. C:N ratios of 20-30 were usual most of the year in the low salinity region, and often more than 30 during times of maximum river discharge. In the lower study area, the ratio approached 15 throughout most of the year. In general, the reduction in the C:N ratios of the suspended material was reflected in the C:N ratios of the sediments. The high C:N ratios in the upper bay and the tidal freshwater portion of the Susquehanna River indicate a high detrital content. An estimate of net primary production would extrapolate to the fixation of PN of approx 1600 metric tons/yr in the upper bay or approx 34 percent of that supplied by upland drainage. The major source of PN in the lower study area is probably provided by photosynthetic fixation, since the physical circulation of the estuary retards a large movement of particulate material seaward.

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