Evidence of microphytobenthic roles on coastal shallow water of the Seto Inland Sea, Japan
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This study describes the temporal variation of microphytobenthic biomass and its controlling factors, as well as the impact of microphytobenthic activities on coastal shallow sediment in the eastern Seto Inland Sea, Japan. The chlorophyll a (Chl a), phaeopigments and sedimentary biophilic element (C, N, P and Si) contents in surface sediments, as well as nutrient concentrations at the sediment-water interface (overlying water and pore water) were observed monthly during November 2003 to May 2005 at one site in Shido Bay (water depth ca. 7 m) and at one site in Harima-Nada (35 m). No correlation was observed between the sedimentary biophilic elements and other parameters. The maximum chlorophyll a content of 48.2 µg g–1 was found in surface sediments under the photon flux reaching the seafloor of 537 µmol photon m–2 s–1 during the winter period when water transparency was the highest at station S (Shido Bay). Our results suggest that higher chlorophyll a content in surface sediment was due to the fresh microphytobenthic biomass (mainly benthic diatom). We also found a significant negative correlation between Chl a and inorganic nutrients in pore water during the low temperature period, especially silicic acid. This result suggests that the silicic acid was assimilated largely during the increase of microphytobenthic biomass in surface sediment. This study suggests that the microphytobenthic roles may have a great effect on nutrient budgets during the large supply of irradiance (winter periods) for their photosynthetic growth in shallow coastal waters.
KeywordsMicrophytobenthos chlorophyll a shallow water Seto Inland Sea
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