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Engelstalige titel: Biogeochemical carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus fluxes in the North Sea
Overkoepelend project: Research action SPSD-II: Second scientific support plan for a sustainable development policy, meer
Referentie nr.: EV/20
Periode: Februari 2002 tot April 2006
Thesaurustermen: Eutrofiëring; Koolfstof; Kustwateren; Nutriënten; Stikstof
Geografische term: ANE, Noordzee, Zuidelijke Bocht [gazetteer]
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- ANCH: Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Faculteit Wetenschappen; Vakgroep Chemie; Laboratorium Analytische en Milieuchemie, meer
- LoCGE: Université Libre de Bruxelles; Faculté des Sciences; Département des Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement; Unité Modélisation Biogéochimique Système Terre; Laboratory of Chemical Oceanography and Water Geochemistry, meer
- Université de Liège; Faculté des Sciences; Département d'Astrophysique, Géophysique et Océanographie; Unité d'océanographie chimique, meer
- RIKZ: Rijksinstituut voor Kust en Zee, meer
- BELSPO: Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, meer, financier
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The Southern Bight of the North Sea receives carbon and nutrients from wastewater discharges, river inputs and atmospheric deposition. Sources of nutrients and carbon are mostly linked to anthropogenic activities. The nutrient enrichment of aquatic systems, also called eutrophication, results in an increased productivity. The most recent QSR report (OSPARCOM, 2000) for the Greater North Sea highlighted very high inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus to the North Sea. These nutrients and carbon are subject to internal fluxes and processes within the North Sea ecosystem, but recent average data for the North Sea dealing with these internal N, P and C recycling processes are rather scarce.
- Project description
Carbon and other nutrients are subject to internal fluxes and processes within the North Sea ecosystem, like internal recycling of organic and inorganic compounds, uptake by phytoplankton, mineralisation, atmospheric efflux, sedimentation, etc. Recent data for the North Sea, concerning this internal recycling are very limited. In this project we will reveal the relative importance of major processes involved in these internal carbon and nutrients cycles in the Southern Bight of the North Sea. These data will be integrated in box-models and compared to the input and output fluxes of C-N-P, in order to be able to visualise the global functioning of the concerned ecosystem. Furthermore, the significance of the main C-N-P compounds will be studied.
The general objective of this project is to reveal the relative importance of major processes involved in the internal cycling of carbon and nutrients, in the Southern Bight of the North Sea. These data will be integrated in box-models and compared to the input and output fluxes of C-N-P, in order to be able to visualise the global functioning of the concerned ecosystem. Furthermore, the significance of the most important C-N-P compounds will be studied. Attention will be given to the improvement of analytical techniques, the validation of experimental protocols and the calculation of important ecosystem parameters.
- Methodology and interaction between the different partners
1. Workpackage Uptake: The goal of this workpackage is to quantify for the Southern Bight of the North Sea, on an annual basis, the importance of the transfer flux between the inorganic C-N-P pools and the living organic C-N-P pools (mainly phytoplankton). Experiments will be conducted in such a way that exactly the same conditions are valid for the 3 elements. This allows us to link the assimilation pathways of C, N and P.
2. Workpackage Regeneration: The goal of this workpackage is to quantify for the Southern Bight of the North Sea, on an annual basis, the importance of the transfer flux between the organic C-N-P pools and the inorganic C-N-P pools. For nitrogen, transformation rates will be calculated using a detailed 15N mass balance model (Elskens, 1999) allowing estimating the related uncertainties.
3. Workpackage Pools and Speciation: The first goal of this workpackage is to quantify, for the Southern Bight of the North Sea, the importance of the different pools of particulate/dissolved and organic/inorganic C-N-P, including their seasonal variability. This will be done by collecting data in existing databases and by implementing these by original measurements. Quality Assurance and quality control of the nutrient analysis is an essential requirement and therefore regular participation in the QUASIMEME nutrient inter-comparison exercises is necessary.
The 4 partners have each expertise in either the determination of N-fluxes (VUB), C-fluxes (ULB, VUB and Ulg), P-fluxes (ULB) and in budgeting (Remy Laane) so that they are complementary in the described workpackages.
- Link with international programmes
This project is linked to the Dutch-Flemish collaboration project "The balance between heterotrophic and autotrophic processe