Biogeochemistry

, Volume 82, Issue 1, pp 41–53 | Cite as

Dynamics of biogenic Si in freshwater tidal marshes: Si regeneration and retention in marsh sediments (Scheldt estuary)

Original Paper

Abstract

The sequestration and recycling of biogenic silica (BSi) in freshwater tidal marshes was modelled through the combination of short-term year round sediment trap data with a long-term sedimentation model, MARSED. The modelling was implemented through the complete evolution from a young rapidly rising marsh to a marsh with an elevation close to mean high water. BSi in imported suspended matter was higher in summer (10.9 mg BSi g−1 sediment) than winter (7.6 mg BSi g−1 sediment). However, the deposition of BSi on the marsh surface was higher in winter compared to summer, due to the higher sedimentation rates. Deposition of BSi was correlated to the suspended matter deposition. In the old marsh, yearly about 40 g BSi m−2 was deposited, while in the young marsh deposition could rise up to 300 g m−2. Young marshes retained up to 85% of the imported biogenic silica. Recycling efficiency (60%) increased drastically for older marshes. The study shows that marshes act as important sinks for BSi along estuaries. The recycling of the imported BSi to DSi in summer and spring is most likely an essential factor in the buffering role of tidal marshes for estuarine DSi concentrations.

Keywords

Biogenic silica dynamics Numerical modelling Freshwater tidal marshes Scheldt estuary 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Ecosystem Management Research GroupUniversity of AntwerpWilrijkBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Research Group Polar Ecology, Limnology and PaleobiologyUniversity of AntwerpWilrijkBelgium
  3. 3.Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Centre for Estuarine and Marine EcologyYersekeThe Netherlands

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