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Carbon and nitrogen dynamics in shallow photic systems: interactions between macroalgae, microalgae, and bacteria
Hardison, A.K.; Anderson, I.C.; Canuel, E.A.; Tobias, C.R.; Veuger, B. (2011). Carbon and nitrogen dynamics in shallow photic systems: interactions between macroalgae, microalgae, and bacteria. Limnol. Oceanogr. 56(4): 1489-1503.
In: Limnology and Oceanography. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography: Waco, Tex., etc.. ISSN 0024-3590, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Hardison, A.K.
  • Anderson, I.C.
  • Canuel, E.A.
  • Tobias, C.R.
  • Veuger, B.

    We tracked carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) uptake into sediments in the presence and absence of benthic macroalgae using dual stable isotope tracers in combination with compound-specific isotope analyses of hydrolyzable amino acids and phospholipid-linked fatty acids to quantify the uptake and retention of C and N within bulk sediments, benthic microalgae (BMA), and heterotrophic bacteria. Stable isotope tracers (as 15NH+4 and H13CO3) were added to mesocosms either via the surface water or pore water for the first 14 d of the 42-d experiment. Macroalgae and sediments exposed to ambient light and dark cycles rapidly took up label from both sources and retained label for at least 4 weeks after isotope additions ended. BMA dominated sediment uptake of 13C and 15N, initially accounting for 100% of total uptake. Over time, heterotrophic bacterial uptake became relatively more important, increasing from 0% on day 1 to 20–50% on day 42, indicating a close coupling between BMA and bacterial production. In treatments with macroalgae, sediment 13C and 15N uptake was ∼ 40% lower than treatments without macroalgae, likely because of shading of the sediment surface by macroalgae, which decreased BMA production, which in turn decreased bacterial production. Overall, sediments served as a sink for C and N through uptake and retention by the microbial community, but retention was lower in the presence of macroalgae.

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