Freshwater marshes as dissolved silica recyclers in an estuarine environment (Schelde estuary, Belgium) Article DOI:
Cite this article as: Struyf, E., Damme, S.V., Gribsholt, B. et al. Hydrobiologia (2005) 540: 69. doi:10.1007/s10750-004-7104-0 Abstract
Compared to knowledge about N and P processing in the aquatic continuum of lakes, wetlands and estuaries, knowledge concerning transport and cycling of Si is only fragmentary. Furthermore, Si research in estuaries has mainly been focused on subtidal benthic sediments and uptake and recycling by diatom communities. The biogeochemical cycling of Si in tidal wetlands, which can contain large amounts of Si, has thus far been neglected. We have conducted several whole ecosystem Si mass-balances on a freshwater marsh located in the Schelde estuary (6 tidal cycles, 2 with BSi included). Our measurements show that the freshwater marsh acts as an important source of dissolved Si to the main river (1–18% more export than import, on average 0.114 g m
−2). This export is compensated by import of amorphous silica into the marsh (19–55% more import than export). The marsh was shown to act as silica recycler, resupplying biologically available dissolved Si to the estuarine ecosystem. Extrapolations show that during summer and spring months, when dissolved silica is depleted due to diatom growth, almost half of the total dissolved silica load in the main river channel could result from marsh recycling. Keywords estuary dissolved silica recycling biogenic silica eutrophication freshwater marshes References Alexandre, A., Meunier, J.-D., Colin, F., Koud, J.-M. 1997 Plant impact on the biogeochemical cycle of silicon and related weathering processes Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 61 677 682 CrossRef Google Scholar Aller, R.C., Benninger, L. K. 1981 Spatial and temporal patterns of dissolved ammonium, manganese, and silica fluxes from bottom sediments of Long Island Sound, USA Journal of Marine Research 39 295 314 Google Scholar Baeyens, W. 1998 Evolution of trace metal concentrations in the Scheldt estuary (1978–1995) A comparison with estuarine and ocean levels. Hydrobiologia 366 157 167 Google Scholar Billen, G., Garnier, J., Ficht, A., Cun, C. 2001 Modeling the response of water quality in the Seine river estuary to human activity in its watershed over the last 50 years Estuaries 24 977 993 Google Scholar Boderie, P.M.A., Zwolsman, J.J.G., Van Eck, G.T.M., Van Der Weijden, C.H. 1993 Nutrient biogeochemistry in the water column (N, P, Si) and porewater (N) of sandy sediment of the Scheldt estuary (SW-Netherlands) Netherlands Journal of Aquatic Ecology 27 309 318 Google Scholar Cave R, R., Ledoux, L., Turner, K., Jickells, T., Andrews, J. E., Davies, H. 2003 The Humber catchment and its coastal area: from UK to European perspectives Science of the Total Environment 314 31 52 CrossRef PubMed Google Scholar Conley, D.J., Malone, T. C. 1992 Annual cycle of dissolved silicate in Chesapeake Bay: implications for the production and fate of phytoplankton biomass Marine Ecology-Progress Series 81 121 128 Google Scholar Conley, D.J., Stalnacke, P., Pitkanen, H., Wilander, A. 2000 The transport and retention of dissolved silicate by rivers in Sweden and Finland Limnology and Oceanography 45 1850 1853 Google Scholar
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