Advertisement

Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 161–167 | Cite as

Distributions, cycling and recovery of amino acids in estuarine waters and sediments

  • A. D. Tappin
  • G. E. Millward
  • M. F. Fitzsimons
Original Paper

Abstract

Acid hydrolysis of estuarine water samples for the determination of amino acids (AAs) was tested and found to be effective at high (250 μM) nitrate concentrations when the anti-oxidant, ascorbic acid, was added to the samples. Hydrolysable AA concentrations were then determined in surface sediments collected from low and high salinity regions of the Tamar Estuary (UK) during winter 2003 and 2004, and in overlying water when simulated resuspension of sediment particles was performed. Concentrations of AAs in sediment samples comprised <50% of particulate nitrogen, fitting the paradigm that most sedimentary nitrogen is preserved within an organic matrix. When sediment samples were resuspended in overlying water (salinity 17.5), the rapid, measured increase in dissolved AA concentrations almost equalled the reported nitrate concentration in the lower estuary, with the subsequent decrease in the total dissolved AA levels suggested that bacterial uptake was occurring. Our data concur with previous studies on nitrogen desorption from sediments and suggest that an understanding of organic nitrogen cycling will be an important aspect of future effective estuarine management.

Keywords

Amino acids Tamar estuary Particulate nitrogen Acid hydrolysis Recovery Nitrate-rich water Sediment Resuspension Bacterial uptake 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Andrew Tonkin for particulate carbon and nitrogen analyses and Patrick Allen and Stephanie Handley for help with the amino acid analyses. This study was funded by the Leverhulme Trust (grant F/00568/H), for which it is gratefully acknowledged.

References

  1. Badr EA (2005) Environmental assessment of the biogeochemical cycling of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) in natural waters. PhD thesis, University of Plymouth, UKGoogle Scholar
  2. Boyer EW, Howarth RW, Galloway JN, Dentener FJ, Green PA, Vörösmarty CJ (2006) Riverine nitrogen export from the continents to the coasts. Global Biogeochem Cycles 20:GB1S91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bronk DA (2002) Dynamics of DON. In: Hansell DA, Carlson CA (eds) Biogeochemistry of marine dissolved organic matter, Academic, London, pp 153–247Google Scholar
  4. Caetano M, Falcão M, Vale C, Bebianno MJ (1997) Tidal flushing of ammonium, iron and manganese from inter-tidal sediment pore waters. Mar Chem 58:203–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chapman J, Braven J, Liddicoat MI, Butler EI (1988) Optimization of the reaction conditions for the direct determination of the dissolved combined amino-acid levels in sea-water. Sci Total Environ 71:215–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clayden J, Greeves N, Warren S, Wothers P (2001) Organic chemistry. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  7. Cowie GL, Hedges JI (1992) Improved amino acid quantification in environmental samples—charge-matched recovery standards and reduced analysis time. Mar Chem 37:223–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Darragh AJ, Garrick DJ, Moughan PJ, Hendriks WH (1996) Correction for amino acid loss during acid hydrolysis of a purified protein. Anal Biochem 236:199–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dauwe B, Middelburg JJ, Herman PMJ, Heip CHR (1999) Linking diagenetic alteration of amino acids and bulk organic matter reactivity. Limnol Oceanogr 44: 1809–1814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fitzsimons MF, Millward GE, Revitt DM, Dawit MD (2006) Desorption kinetics of ammonium and methylamines from estuarine sediments: Consequences for the cycling of nitrogen. Mar Chem 101:12–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fuhrman JA, Ferguson RL (1986) Nanomolar concentrations and rapid turnover of dissolved free amino acids in seawater: agreement between chemical and biological measurements. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 33:237–242Google Scholar
  12. Glibert PM, Heil CA, Hollander D, Revilla M, Hoare A, Alexander J, Murasko S (2004) Evidence for dissolved organic nitrogen and phosphorus uptake during a cyanobacterial bloom in Florida Bay. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 280:73–83Google Scholar
  13. Haugen JE, Lichtentaler R (1991) Amino acid diagenesis, organic carbon and nitrogen mineralization in surface sediments from the inner Oslofjord, Norway. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 55:1649–1661CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hedges JI, Keil RG (1999) Organic geochemical perspectives on estuarine processes: sorption reactions and consequences. Mar Chem 65:55–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hedges JI, Cowie GL, Richey JE, Quay PD, Benner R, Strom M, Forsberg BR (1994) Origins and processing of organic matter in the Amazon River as indicated by carbohydrates and amino acids. Limnol Oceanogr 39:743–761CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Heil CA, Glibert PM, Fan CL (2005) Procentrum minimum (Pavillard) Schiller—a review of harmful algal bloom species of growing worldwide importance. Harmful Algae 4:449–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Henrichs SM (1995) Sedimentary organic matter preservation—an assessment and speculative synthesis—a comment. Mar Chem 49:127–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jorgensen NOG, Kroer N, Coffin RB, Yang XH, Lee C (1993) Dissolved free amino acids, combined amino acids, and DNA as sources of carbon and nitrogen to marine-bacteria. Mar Ecol-Prog Ser 98:135–148Google Scholar
  19. Keil RG, Kirchman DL (1991) Dissolved combined amino acids in marine waters as determined by a vapor-phase hydrolysis method. Mar Chem 33:243–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Keil RG, Montlucon DB, Prahl FG, Hedges JI (1994) Sorptive preservation of labile organic matter in marine sediments. Nature 370:549–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Keil RG, Tsamakis E, Hedges JI (2000) Early diagenesis of particulate amino acids in marine systems. In: Goodfriend GA, Collins MJ, Fogel ML, Macko SA, Wehmiller JF (eds) Perspectives in amino acid and protein geochemistry. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 69–82Google Scholar
  22. Lindroth P, Mopper K (1979) High performance liquid chromatographic determination of subpicomole amounts of amino acids by precolumn fluorescence derivatization with ortho-phthaldialdehyde. Anal Chem 51:1667–1674CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mayer L, Schick LL, Sawyer T, Plante CJ, Jumars PA, Self RL (1995) Bioavailable amino acids in sediments: a biometric, kinetics-based approach. Limnol Oceanogr 40:511–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Metzler DE (1977) Biochemistry. The chemical reactions of living cells. Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Middelburg JJ, Nieuwenhuize J (2000) Nitrogen uptake by heterotrophic bacteria and phytoplankton in the nitrate-rich Thames estuary. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 203:13–21Google Scholar
  26. Morin J, Morse JW (1999) Ammonium release from resuspended sediments in the Laguna Madre estuary. Mar Chem 65:97–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Morris AW, Bale AJ, Howland RJM (1982) Chemical variability in the Tamar Estuary, Southwest England. Estuar Coast Shelf S14:649–661CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nguyen RT, Harvey HR (2001) Preservation of protein in marine systems: hydrophobic and other noncovalent associations as major stabilizing forces. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 65:1467–1480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nunn BL, Keil RG (2006) A comparison of non-hydrolytic methods for extracting amino acids and proteins from coastal marine sediments. Mar Chem 89:31–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pantoja S, Lee C (1999) Molecular weight distribution of proteinaceous material in Long Island Sound sediments. Limnol Oceanogr 44:1323–1330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Robertson KJ, Williams PM, Bada JL (1987) Acid-hydrolysis of dissolved combined amino acids in seawater—a precautionary note. Limnol Oceanogr 32:996–997CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Uncles RJ, Fraser AI, Butterfield D, Johnes P, Harrod TR (2002) The prediction of nutrients into estuaries and their subsequent behaviour: application to the Tamar and comparison with the Tweed, UK. Hydrobiologia 475:239–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Van Breemen N (2002) Natural organic tendency. Nature 415:381–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wang XC, Lee C (1990) The distribution and adsorption behavior of aliphatic amines in marine and lacustrine sediments. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 54:2759–2774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yamamuro M, Kayanne H (1995) Rapid determination of organic carbon and nitrogen in carbonate-bearing sediments with a Yanaco MT-5 CHN analyzer. Limnol Oceanogr 40:1001–1005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zang X, Nguyen RT, Harvey HR, Knicker H, Hatcher PG (2001) Preservation of proteinaceous material during the degradation of the green alga Botryococcus braunii: A solid-state 2D N-15 C-13 NMR spectroscopy study. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 65:3299–3305CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D. Tappin
    • 1
  • G. E. Millward
    • 1
  • M. F. Fitzsimons
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine InstituteUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUK

Personalised recommendations