, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 69-78

Influences of Nutrient Outwelling from the Mangrove Swamp on the Distribution of Phytoplankton in the Matang Mangrove Estuary, Malaysia

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Distributions of dissolved nutrients and Chl. a were investigated in the Sangga Besar River Estuary in the well-managed Matang Mangrove Forest in West Malaysia. In the estuary, spring tide concentrations of ammonium, silicate and phosphate were higher than those in the neap tide, which suggests that these nutrients are flushed from the mangrove area by the inundation and tidal mixing of the spring tide. Ammonium comprised over 50% of the dissolved inorganic nitrogen in the spring tide, while nitrite tended to dominate in the neap tide, indicating the predominance of nitrification inside the estuary in neap tides. Nutrient concentrations in the creek water were higher than those of estuarine water, indicating the nutrient outwelling from the mangrove swamp and ammonium regeneration from mangrove litter in the creek sediments. The maximum concentration of Chl. a in spring tides reached 80 μg/l while it was below 20 μg/l in the neap tides. These variations in the phytoplankton biomass and nutrients probably reflect the greater nutrient availability in the spring tide due to outwelling from the mangrove swamp and creek.