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|Effect of bacterial mineralization of phytoplankton-derived phytodetritus on the release of arsenic, cobalt and manganese from muddy sediments in the Southern North Sea. A microcosm study|
|Gillan, D.C.; Pede, A.; Sabbe, K.; Gao, Y.; Leermakers, M.; Baeyens, W.; Cabana, B.L.; Billon, G. (2012). Effect of bacterial mineralization of phytoplankton-derived phytodetritus on the release of arsenic, cobalt and manganese from muddy sediments in the Southern North Sea. A microcosm study, in: Pede, A. (2012). Diversity and dynamics of protist communities in subtidal North Sea sediments in relation to metal pollution and algal bloom deposition. pp. 79-102|
|In: Pede, A. (2012). Diversity and dynamics of protist communities in subtidal North Sea sediments in relation to metal pollution and algal bloom deposition. PhD Thesis. Universiteit Gent; Vakgroep Biologie, Onderzoeksgroep Protistologie en Aquatische Ecologie: Gent. 200 pp., more|
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Muddy sediments of the Belgian Continental Zone (BCZ) are contaminated by metals such as Co, As, Cd, Pb, and Ni. Previous studies have suggested that mineralization of phytodetritus accumulating each year on sediments might cause secondary contaminations of the overlying seawater (metal effluxes). The aim of the present research was to investigate these effluxes using a microcosm approach. Muddy sediments were placed in microcosms (diameter: 15cm) and overlaid by phytodetritus (a mix of Phaeocystis globosa with the diatom Skeletonema costatum). The final suspension was 130.6mgL(-1) (dw) and the final chlorophyll a content was 750±35µgL(-1) (mean±SD). Natural seawater was used for controls. Microcosms were then incubated in the dark at 15°C during 7days. Metals were monitored in overlying waters and microbial communities were followed using bacterial and nanoflagellate DAPI counts, thymidine incorporation, community level physiological profiling (CLPP) and fluorescein diacetate analysis (FDA). Benthic effluxes observed in sediments exposed to phytodetritus were always more elevated than those observed in controls. Large effluxes were observed for Mn, Co and As, reaching 1084nmolm(-2)day(-1) (As), 512nmolm(-2)day(-1) (Co), and 755µmolm(-2)day(-1) (Mn). A clear link was established between heterotrophic microbial activity and metal effluxes. The onset of mineralization was very fast and started within 2h of deposition as revealed by CLPP. An increased bacterial production was observed after two days (8.7mgCm(-2)day(-2)) and the bacterial biomass appeared controlled by heterotrophic nanoflagellates. Calculations suggest that during phytoplankton blooms the microbial activity alone may release substantial amounts of dissolved arsenic in areas of the BCZ covered by muddy sediments.