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Microbial Processes of Carbon and Sulfur Cycles in Sediments of the Russian Sector of the Baltic Sea

Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series

Abstract

Comprehensive microbiological and biogeochemical studies of silts of the Gdansk Deep, Curonian and Vistula lagoons have been carried out from 2007 to 2015. Twelve pockmarks were outlined and the distribution of gassy mud was refined. Diffusion fluxes of methane from the upper (0–5 cm) layer of the seabed into near bottom waters ranged from 0.004 mmol/(m2 day) in gas-free mud to 3.3 mmol/(m2 day) in pockmark sediments and 0.11 and 0.135 mmol/(m2 day) for the Vistula and Curonian lagoons on average, respectively. Compared to gas-free mud (1.5–30 μmol/dm3 at the 0–5 cm) in the pockmark sediments, the methane content sharply increased from the surface (30–1,279 μmol/dm3) to 2,888–4,530 μmol/dm3 at the 15–30 cm layer. The maximum methane concentrations in the lagoons sediments (up to 877 μmol/dm3) were found in the Curonian Lagoon, which is explained by the influence of freshwater conditions and high content of Corg in sediments. Methane concentrations and fluxes in the Vistula Lagoon are reduced by a periodic inflow of sulfate water from the open sea, which contributes to the decomposition of Corg through sulfate reduction. Therefore, the intensity of sulfate reduction in the sediments of the Vistula Lagoon reached 39 μmol/(dm3 day), and in the Curonian Lagoon – 24 μmol/(dm3 day). The intensity of methane oxidation was confined to the upper 10 cm of the sediment and was more pronounced in the Curonian Lagoon (2.9 μmol/(dm3 day)) compared to the Vistula Lagoon (1.3 μmol/(dm3 day)). Significantly large values of the bacterial sulfate reduction and methane anaerobic oxidation with a maximum (72 μmol S/(dm3 day) and 80 μmol/(dm3 day), respectively) were recorded in the mud of the Gdansk Deep (20–40 cm). The composition of the microbial community of the reduced pockmark sediments was studied using the analysis of a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene and by the method of fluorescence in situ hybridization.

Keywords

  • Curonian and Vistula Lagoons
  • Gassy sediments
  • Gdansk deep
  • Methane flux
  • Microbial processes
  • Phylogeny of microorganisms
  • Pockmark

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Acknowledgements

The study was done with a partial support of the State assignment of Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS (Theme No. 0128-2021-0012) and by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Research Center of Biotechnology RAS (State assignment).

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Kanapatskiy, T.A., Ulyanova, M.O., Iasakov, T.R., Shubenkova, O.V., Pimenov, N.V. (2021). Microbial Processes of Carbon and Sulfur Cycles in Sediments of the Russian Sector of the Baltic Sea. In: The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/698_2021_818

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/698_2021_818

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