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Microbial Ecology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 129–144 | Cite as

The role of bacteria in the nutrient exchange between sediment and water in a flow-through system

  • T. Kairesalo
  • L. Tuominen
  • H. Hartikainen
  • K. Rankinen
Article

Abstract

The contribution of bacteria to phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N ) release from, or retention in, sediment was studied in a flow-through system. “Live” and formaldehyde-“killed” sediment communities were incubated in 25-liter bottles with a continuous flow of P- or P + N-enriched water. Sediment bacteria in the killed communities were inhibited by adding formaldehyde (final concentration 0.04% v/v) to the sediment before the start of the experiment. Bacterial activity in the live sediments measured with [3H]thymidine and [14C]leucine incorporation techniques did not change essentially during the experiment period (7–8 days). Chemical mechanisms were found to be of principal importance in PO4-P retention in the sediment. In the live samples, the net retention of PO4-P was lower than in the killed samples, which was likely due to the reduced O2 conditions in the sediment as a consequence of bacterial mineralization. In total P exchange, however, bacteria increased the retention rate by recycling dissolved organic P in the sediment. In the live communities the retention of N was very efficient, and all the introduced NH4 -N and NO3-N was immobilized by sediment bacteria. Nitrogen enrichment, however, did not alter the P exchange rates. The gradual emergence of bacterial activity (and grazing) in the killed communities, subsequent to the dilution of formaldehyde concentration, enhanced the release of PO4-P and NH4-N from sediment.

Keywords

Exchange Rate Leucine Thymidine Retention Rate Formaldehyde Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Kairesalo
    • 1
  • L. Tuominen
    • 2
  • H. Hartikainen
    • 3
  • K. Rankinen
    • 2
  1. 1.The Environmental UnitUniversity of HelsinkiLahtiFinland
  2. 2.Department of Limnology and Environmental ProtectionUniversity of HelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Department of Applied Chemistry and MicrobiologyUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

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