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Nitrogen mineralization and eutrophication risks in mangroves receiving shrimp farming effluents


Nitrogen (N) inputs originated from shrimp farming effluents were evaluated for potential changes in the net N mineralization for mangrove soils from Northeastern Brazil. Our study provides notable information and assessment for the potential enhancement of N mineralization in preserved and shrimp-impacted semi-arid mangrove soils of the Jaguaribe River estuary, which is one of the largest shrimp producers of Brazil, using an analytical and daily tidal variation experimental approach. Nitrogen-rich effluents promoted a significant (p value < 0.001) increase of the total soil N content (1998 ± 201 mg kg−1 on average) compared with the preserved sites (average: 1446 ± 295 mg kg−1). The effluents also increased the N mineralization in the shrimp-impacted sites (N-min: 86.6 ± 37.5 mg kg−1), when compared with preserved mangroves (N-min: 56.5 ± 23.8 mg kg−1). Over a daily tidal variation experiment, we found that just 30% (36.2 ± 20.6 mg kg−1) of mineralized N remains stored in the soil, whereas 70% (102.9 ± 38.8 mg kg−1) was solubilized in tidal waters. Therefore, the N mineralization process may trigger eutrophication by increasing N inorganic bioavailability in mangrove soils receiving N-rich effluents from shrimp ponds, which in turn might increase primary producers’ activity. This approach has not been studied so far in semi-arid mangroves, where the shrimp farming activity is one of the most important economic activities.

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The authors thank the financial research support from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, grant no. 446457/2014-0; 305996/2018-5; 409593/2018-4), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001, Fundação Cearense de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (FUNCAP, public notice 15/2013), Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (GNN, JCNE Grant E-26/202.757/2019), and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo—FAPESP (grants no. HMQ: 2018/04259-2; DB: 2019/02855-0).

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Correspondence to Hermano Melo Queiroz.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Queiroz, H.M., Ferreira, T.O., Taniguchi, C.A.K. et al. Nitrogen mineralization and eutrophication risks in mangroves receiving shrimp farming effluents. Environ Sci Pollut Res 27, 34941–34950 (2020).

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  • Inorganic nitrogen
  • Mangrove soils
  • Soil pollution