Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 15, Issue 12, pp 2443–2452 | Cite as

The impact of induced redox transitions on nutrient diagenesis in coastal marine sediments (Gulf of Trieste, northern Adriatic Sea)

  • Neža Koron
  • Nives Ogrinc
  • Edouard Metzger
  • Bettina Riedel
  • Jadran Faganeli
IASWS 2014: The Interactions Between Sediments and Water



Sequential nutrient regeneration and organic matter (OM) degradation were studied in surface coastal sediments of the Gulf of Trieste (northern Adriatic Sea).

Materials and methods

In situ benthic chambers were used under normoxic, anoxic and reoxic conditions. Diffusive benthic fluxes were calculated from pore water modelling using a diffusion-advection-reaction model.

Results and discussion

Intensive NH4 + and PO4 3− anoxic regeneration was subsequently slower in prolonged anoxia. NH4 + production was probably also a consequence of dissimilatory nitrate reduction to NH4 +. The presence of laterally pumping of oxygenated water by benthic infauna can explain the presence of NO3 in anoxia. Anoxic phases were characterized by enhanced dissolution of biogenic Si. Reoxygenation was characterized by enhanced bioturbation. Nitrification caused NH4 + decrease. P precipitated quickly as carbonate fluorapatite and FePO4 and adsorption of P onto Fe-hydroxides could also occur. Diffusive fluxes at the sediment-water interface (SWI) revealed high anoxic NH4 + effluxes, while PO4 3− fluxes were very low. High NH4 +/PO4 3− flux ratios in anoxic and reoxic phases suggested an excess of benthic inorganic N.


Nutrient budgets at the sediment-water interface of this sandy coastal sediment showed intensive anoxic recycling of inorganic N, but low P and Si cycling in all redox phases.


Gulf of Trieste Modelling Nutrients Redox changes Sediments 



This research was conducted in the framework of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) project P21542-B17 entitled “Low dissolved oxygen events in the Northern Adriatic: in situ experimental insights into benthic responses before, during and post-anoxia”. This part of the research was also supported financially by the Research Programme P1-0143 and the Young Researcher Programme of the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS). We thank M. Stachowitsch, M. Zuschin, I. Gallmetzer and A. Haselmair for the technical and diving support. Authors also thank R. Pain for the linguistic corrections.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neža Koron
    • 1
  • Nives Ogrinc
    • 2
  • Edouard Metzger
    • 3
  • Bettina Riedel
    • 4
  • Jadran Faganeli
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Biological StationNational Institute of BiologyPiranSlovenia
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Sciences, Jožef Stefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia
  3. 3.Laboratoire des Bio-Indicateurs Actuels et FossilesLUNAM Université, Université d’Angers, UMR CNRS 6112 LPGN-BIAFAngers CedexFrance
  4. 4.Department of Limnology and OceanographyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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