Benthic fluxes and nitrate reduction activity in a marine park (Northern San Jorge Gulf) from Patagonia Argentina

  • A. I. TorresEmail author
  • M. Faleschini
  • J. L. Esteves
Thematic Issue
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. 3RAGSU


The Northern San Jorge Gulf (NSJG) was declared Coastal Marine Park in 2008 with the goal of preserving its biodiversity. In situ benthic fluxes experiments were performed using an opaque chamber in Sara Creek (SC) and Malaspina Creek (MC). Moreover, ex situ nitrate reduction activity was assessed using a continuous flow-through system. Benthic fluxes in MC, showed a consumption of oxygen (794 ± 196 mg m−2 h−1) and nitrate (103 ± 68 µmol m−2 h−1) by sediment and release of ammonium (175 ± 60 µmol m−2 h−1), phosphate (66 ± 10 µmol m−2 h−1) and silicate (116 ± 66 µmol m−2 h−1) towards the water column. In SC, the same pattern was observed and the fluxes values were 375 ± 132, 128 ± 1, 76 ± 12, 39 ± 24 and 133 ± 81, respectively. Only, ammonium and oxygen fluxes showed significant differences between sites, due to the highest organic matter content and the particular hydrodynamic conditions in MC. These are the first benthic flux measurements made within the protected area. Nitrate uptake rate, based on Michaelis–Menten kinetic, was K m : 155.3 µM and V max: 0.053 µM g−1 h−1 in SC and K m : 131.2 µM and V max: 0.039 µM g−1 h−1 in MC. Considering the nitrate dynamic we concluded that the sediments both SC and MC act as a sink of nitrate. This ion could be principally used as a terminal electron acceptor during the oxidation process of organic compounds in sediments of NSJG.


Benthic flux chamber Sediment–water interface Nitrate-reduction Continuous flow-through system Marine Park Argentinean Patagonia 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Oceanografía Química y Contaminación de Aguas. Centro para el Estudio de Sistemas Marinos, Centro Nacional PatagónicoConsejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasPuerto MadrynArgentina

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