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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.; Louriño Cabana, B.; 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. Sci. Total Environ. 419: 98-108. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.12.034
In: Science of the Total Environment. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0048-9697, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 257580 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Bacteria [WoRMS]; Phaeocystis Lagerheim, 1893 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Sediment; Efflux; Metal; Arsenic; Phaeocystis; Bacteria

Authors  Top 
  • Leermakers, M., more
  • Baeyens, W., more
  • Louriño Cabana, B., more
  • Billon, G.

Abstract
    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: 15 cm) and overlaid by phytodetritus (a mix of Phaeocystis globosa with the diatom Skeletonema costatum). The final suspension was 130.6 mg L- 1 (dw) and the final chlorophyll a content was 750 ± 35 µg L- 1 (mean ± SD). Natural seawater was used for controls. Microcosms were then incubated in the dark at 15 °C during 7 days. 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 1084 nmol m- 2 day- 1 (As), 512 nmol m- 2 day- 1 (Co), and 755 µmol m- 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 2 h of deposition as revealed by CLPP. An increased bacterial production was observed after two days (8.7 mg C m- 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.

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