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Sedimentary oxygen dynamics in a seasonally hypoxic basin
Seitaj, D.; Sulu-Gambari, F; Burdorf, L.D.W.; Romero-Ramirez, A.; Maire, O.; Malkin, S.Y.; Slomp, C. P.; Meysman, F.J.R. (2017). Sedimentary oxygen dynamics in a seasonally hypoxic basin. Limnol. Oceanogr. 62(2): 452-473.
In: Limnology and Oceanography. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography: Waco, Tex., etc. ISSN 0024-3590; e-ISSN 1939-5590, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Seitaj, D., meer
  • Sulu-Gambari, F
  • Burdorf, L.D.W., meer
  • Romero-Ramirez, A.
  • Maire, O.
  • Malkin, S.Y., meer
  • Slomp, C. P.
  • Meysman, F.J.R., meer

    Seasonal hypoxia refers to the oxygen depletion that occurs in summer in the bottom water of stratified systems, and is increasingly observed in coastal areas worldwide. The process induces a seasonal cycle on the biogeochemistry of the underlying sediments, which remains poorly quantified. Here, we investigated the sedimentary oxygen consumption within Lake Grevelingen (The Netherlands), a saline coastal reservoir that is impacted by yearly recurrent bottom water hypoxia. Monthly sampling campaigns were conducted throughout 2012 at three sites along a depth gradient. Macrofauna sampling and sediment profile imaging demonstrated how summer hypoxia strongly impacts the benthic communities below 15 m of water depth. Benthic fluxes of oxygen, dissolved inorganic carbon, total alkalinity, and ammonium were determined by closed core incubations, while oxygen depth profiles were recorded by microsensor profiling of sediment cores. Our results reveal a pronounced seasonality in the sedimentary oxygen consumption. Low uptake rates in summer were caused by oxygen limitation, and resulted in the build‐up of an “oxygen debt” through the accumulation of reduced iron sulfides. Highest oxygen uptake rates were recorded in fall, linked to the reoxidation of the pool of iron sulfides in the top layer. However, uptake rates remained unexpectedly high during winter and early spring, likely associated with the oxidation of iron sulfides down to centimeters depth due to the electrogenic sulfur oxidation by cable bacteria. Overall, our results suggest that the sedimentary oxygen dynamic in seasonally hypoxic coastal systems is characterized by a strongly amplified “oxygen debt” dynamics induced by cable bacteria.

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