Mechanisms for Organic Matter and Phosphorus Burial in Sedimentsof a Shallow, Subtropical, Macrophyte-Dominated Lake Article Received: 14 December 2004 Accepted: 17 May 2005 DOI:
10.1007/s10933-005-7881-0 Cite this article as: Brenner, M., Hodell, D.A., Leyden, B.W. et al. J Paleolimnol (2006) 35: 129. doi:10.1007/s10933-005-7881-0 Abstract
We studied the role that submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) plays in the sedimentation of organic matter (OM) and phosphorus (P) in Lake Panasoffkee, Florida (USA), a shallow, hard-water, macrophyte-dominated water body. Carbon/Nitrogen ratios (C/N) and stable isotope signatures (
δ 13C and δ 15N) in algae, higher plants, and surface sediments were measured to identify sources of OM to the lake mud. Pollen, plant macrofossils, and geochemistry in sediment cores indicated that primary productivity and SAV abundance in Lake Panasoffkee increased in the late 1800s, probably as a response to increased P loading from human settlement and forest clearance. SAV and associated periphyton served as temporary sinks for soluble P, maintaining relatively clear-water, low-nutrient conditions in the lake. P accumulation in Lake Panasoffkee sediments increased together with indicators for greater SAV presence. This suggests that SAV and associated epiphytes promote P burial and retention in sediments. Although it might be assumed that rooted submersed macrophytes are directly responsible for P uptake from water and transfer to sediments, C/N and stable carbon isotope results argue for the importance of other macrophyte growth forms, and perhaps epiphytic algae, in permanent OM and P sequestration. For instance, high rates of photosynthesis by epiphytes in hard-water systems consume CO 2 and promote CaCO 3 precipitation. Sloughing of accumulated carbonates from macrophyte leaves transfers epiphytes and associated P to the sediment. Our paleolimnological findings are relevant to restoration efforts in the Florida Everglades and support the claim that constructed SAV wetlands remove P from waters effectively. Keywords Macrophytes Nutrients Organic matter Phosphorus Sediment Shallow lakes Stable isotopes Submersed aquatic vegetation References Appleby, P.G., Oldfield, F. 1978 The calculation of lead-210 dates assuming a constant rate of supply of unsupported lead-210 to the sediment Catena 5 1 8 CrossRef Google Scholar Appleby, P.G., Oldfield, F. 1983 The assessment of 210Pb data from sites with varying sediment accumulation rates Hydrobiologia 103 29 35 CrossRef Google Scholar Benner, R., Fogel, M.L., Sprague, E.K., Hodson, R.E. 1987 Depletion of 13C in lignin and its implications for stable carbon isotope studies Nature 329 708 710 Google Scholar Boutton, T.W. 1991 Stable carbon isotope ratios of natural materials: II. Atmospheric, terrestrial, marineand freshwater environments Coleman, D.C. Fry, B. eds. Carbon Isotope Techniques Academic Press New York 173 185 Google Scholar Brenner, M., Binford, M.W., Deevey, E.S. 1990 Lakes Myers, R.L. Ewel, J.J. eds. Ecosystems of Florida University of Central Florida Press Orlando 364 391 Google Scholar Brenner, M., Whitmore, T.J., Lasi, M.A., Cable, J.E., Cable, P.H., Schelske, C.L. 1999 A multi-proxy trophic state reconstruction for shallow Orange LakeFloridaUSA: possible influence of aquatic macrophytes on limnetic nutrient concentrations J. Paleolimnol. 21 215 233 CrossRef Google Scholar Brenner, M., Schelske, C.L., Keenan, L.W. 2001 Historical rates of sediment accumulation and nutrient burial in marshes of the Upper St. Johns River Basin, Florida USA J. Paleolimnol. 26 241 257 CrossRef Google Scholar Brown, N.J. 1980 Calcium phosphate precipitation in aqueous calcitic limestone suspensions J. Environ. Qual. 9 641 643 Google Scholar CH2M Hill, Inc. 1995Lake Panasoffkee water and nutrient budget study Florida Water Management District Brooksville FL 102 Google Scholar Cloern, J.E., Canuel, E.A., Harris, D. 2002 Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope composition of aquatic and terrestrial plants of the San Francisco Bay estuarine system Limnol. Oceanogr. 713 713 729 Google Scholar
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