Dissolved organic matter release in a Posidonia oceanica meadow
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We examined annual nutrient changes (nitrate, phosphate and ammonium) and the net dissolved organic carbon (DOC), nitrogen (DON) and phosphorus (DOP) release using in situ benthic incubations in a Posidonia oceanica meadow and in unvegetated sediments of Magalluf Bay (Mallorca Island, Spain) at monthly intervals. We also examined the role of the P. oceanica meadow in the C:N:P ratio transformations by comparing the ratios between the inorganic and dissolved organic fluxes in the seagrass ecosystem and those in the plant material. Our results indicate that P. oceanica communities enhance DOC fluxes relative to adjacent unvegetated sediments. The net DOC release from the P. oceanica meadow represents 71% of the net community production. The C:N:P ratio in the flux of dissolved organic material (DOM) from the P. oceanica community (1450:69:1) exceeded the C:N:P ratio in the DOM flux of unvegetated sediment communities. The high flux of DOC release from this seagrass community might be enriched in carbon compounds, as these plants produce non-structural carbohydrates in excess.
Marine Ecology Progress Series
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Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)