Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 878–891

Red Waters of Myrionecta rubra are Biogeochemical Hotspots for the Columbia River Estuary with Impacts on Primary/Secondary Productions and Nutrient Cycles

  • Lydie Herfort
  • Tawnya D. Peterson
  • Fredrick G. Prahl
  • Lee Ann McCue
  • Joseph A. Needoba
  • Byron C. Crump
  • G. Curtis Roegner
  • Victoria Campbell
  • Peter Zuber
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12237-012-9485-z

Cite this article as:
Herfort, L., Peterson, T.D., Prahl, F.G. et al. Estuaries and Coasts (2012) 35: 878. doi:10.1007/s12237-012-9485-z

Abstract

The localized impact of blooms of the mixotrophic ciliate Myrionecta rubra in the Columbia River estuary during 2007–2010 was evaluated with biogeochemical, light microscopy, physiological, and molecular data. M. rubra affected surrounding estuarine nutrient cycles, as indicated by high and low concentrations of organic nutrients and inorganic nitrogen, respectively, associated with red waters. M. rubra blooms also altered the energy transfer pattern in patches of the estuarine water that contain the ciliate by creating areas characterized by high primary production and elevated levels of fresh autochthonous particulate organic matter, therefore shifting the trophic status in emergent red water areas of the estuary from net heterotrophy towards autotrophy. The pelagic estuarine bacterial community structure was unaffected by M. rubra abundance, but red waters of the ciliate do offer a possible link between autotrophic and heterotrophic processes since they were associated with elevated dissolved organic matter and showed a tendency for enhanced microbial secondary production. Taken together, these findings suggest that M. rubra red waters are biogeochemical hotspots of the Columbia River estuary.

Keywords

Myrionecta rubra Mesodinium rubrum Red waters Biogeochemical cycles Columbia River estuary 

Supplementary material

12237_2012_9485_MOESM1_ESM.doc (44 kb)
Table S1Physical, biological, and chemical data used for calculating the averages presented on Figs 2, 3, and 4. POC particulate organic carbon, PN particulate nitrogen, Chla chlorophyll a, DOC dissolved organic carbon, NH4 ammonium, NO3 nitrate, DIP dissolved inorganic phosphorus, DON dissolved organic nitrogen, DOP dissolved organic phosphorus, MSP microbial secondary production, N.D. not determined (DOC 43 kb)

Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lydie Herfort
    • 1
  • Tawnya D. Peterson
    • 1
  • Fredrick G. Prahl
    • 2
  • Lee Ann McCue
    • 3
  • Joseph A. Needoba
    • 1
  • Byron C. Crump
    • 4
  • G. Curtis Roegner
    • 5
  • Victoria Campbell
    • 1
  • Peter Zuber
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction and Division of Environmental & Biomolecular SystemsOregon Health & Science UniversityBeavertonUSA
  2. 2.College of Oceanic and Atmospheric SciencesOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  3. 3.Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryRichlandUSA
  4. 4.Horn Point Laboratory University of Maryland Center for Environmental ScienceCambridgeUSA
  5. 5.NOAA Fisheries, Northwest Fisheries Science CenterHammondUSA

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