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Microbial production of an estuarine mudflat
Joint, I.R. (1978). Microbial production of an estuarine mudflat. Estuar. Coast. Mar. Sci. 7: 185-195
In: Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science. Academic Press: London. ISSN 0302-3254, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Brackish water; Carbon cycle; Estuaries; Heterotrophic microorganisms; Microorganisms; Mud; Mud flats; Nitrogen cycle; Phytoplankton; Primary production; Seasonal variations; Tidal flats; Brackish water

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  • Joint, I.R.

Abstract
    The components of microbial production of an intertidal mud flat in the R. Lynher, SW England, were studied from Jan 1974 to Dec 1974. Measurements were made of primary production on the sediment surface and in the water column, and the seasonal changes in numbers of aerobic heterotrophs and carbon and nitrogen content of the surface sediment were measured. The annual primary production was 143 g C m-2 for the sedment and 81 . 7 g C m-2 for the water column. Primary production on the sediment surface ceased when the mudflat was tidally flooded. Successive peaks of chlorophyll a in the water column were associated with phytoplankton of different cells sizes. Functional chlorophyll a was found at depths of >10 cm in the sediment. Attempts to measure the heterotrophic potential of the microbial populations were equivocal but suggested that heterotrophic microbes were not very important in the turn-over of carbon on this mudflat. The source of carbon is assumed to be autochthonous and the capacity for the measured primary production to support the macrofauna production is discussed.

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