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Nutrient concentrations and planktonic diatom-flagellate relations in the Oosterschelde (SW Netherlands) during and after the construction of a storm-surge barrier
Bakker, C.; Vink, M. (1994). Nutrient concentrations and planktonic diatom-flagellate relations in the Oosterschelde (SW Netherlands) during and after the construction of a storm-surge barrier, in: Nienhuis, P.H. et al. (Ed.) The Oosterschelde Estuary (The Netherlands): a case-study of a changing ecosystem. Hydrobiologia, 97: pp. 101-116
In: Nienhuis, P.H.; Smaal, A.C. (Ed.) (1994). The Oosterschelde Estuary (The Netherlands): a case-study of a changing ecosystem. Reprinted from Hydrobiologia, vols 282/283. Hydrobiologia, 97. Kluwer Academic: Dordrecht. 597 pp., more
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague. ISSN 0018-8158, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Bakker, C.; Vink, M. (1994). Nutrient concentrations and planktonic diatom-flagellate relations in the Oosterschelde (SW Netherlands) during and after the construction of a storm-surge barrier. Hydrobiologia 282-283: 101-116, more

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Keywords
    Diatoms; Flagellates; Lake; Phytoplankton; Size; Zooplankton; Marine; Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • Bakker, C.
  • Vink, M.

Abstract
    The inflow of Rhine water into the Oosterschelde was strongly reduced from 1987 onwards. This caused the winter concentrations of silicate and nitrate to decrease in the Eastern compartment, while those in the deeper Western compartment, more dependent on North Sea concentrations, hardly changed. The result was a levelling of the former East-West gradients for these nutrients. In East, summer concentrations of nitrate reached limiting levels in the post-barrier period and molar nitrate/ammonium ratios became < 1, indicating that any release of nitrogen must be important to stimulate phytoplankton growth in this area. Silicate summer concentrations in East, on the other hand, were higher in the new situation. In West, differences in summer nutrient concentrations between the old and new situation were smaller than in East, due to the still continuing exchange with the North Sea.Phytoplankton diatoms and flagellates In East during summer, N-depletion and longer residence times caused the phytoplankton to become strongly dependent on nutrient regeneration processes and increased zooplankton grazing. Average diatom biomass declined, but flagellate biomass rose during summer. Spring conditions for phytoplankton development in this area improved due to the increased water transparency, nutrients being present in excess, and this resulted in a higher 'new' production of diatoms than before. In West, summer biomass of diatoms decreased, probably due to increased consumption by mussels under conditions of longer residence times; nutrients were not limiting, due to important benthic mineralization processes and exchange with the North Sea. The previously existing West-East biomass gradients disappeared, or sometimes reversed. Experimental (mesocosm studies) as well as field data, reported in the literature, give evidence for the given explanations.

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