Nutrient Cycling in Estuarine and Coastal Marine Ecosystems

  • H. Postma
  • W. M. Kemp
  • J. M. Colebrook
  • J. Horwood
  • I. R. Joint
  • R. Lampitt
  • S. W. Nixon
  • M. E. Q. Pilson
  • F. Wulff
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 13)


Although secondary production of marine and estuarine ecosystems is the result of energy and carbon flux from lower trophic levels, the rate of primary production may be controlled by the availability of disssolved inorganic (and perhaps organic) nutrients. In this report we briefly review the status of knowledge and relevant questions pertaining to nutrient flux and transformation processes in shallow marine systems. Our emphasis is on nitrogen although we conclude that further research is also needed for phosphorus and silicon. We begin by presenting a conceptual schematic for the nitrogen cycle in these systems (Figure 1). The diagram is organized by vertically separating characteristics of the upper mixed layer from those of the demersal and benthic systems. Even though particulate nitrogen is divided into various living and abiotic compartments, fluxes among those particulate components are not emphasized here. Concentrations and fluxes are discussed one pathway at a time.


Nitrogen Fixation Nutrient Cycling Dissolve Organic Nitrogen Particulate Nitrogen Zostera Marina 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Postma
    • 1
  • W. M. Kemp
    • 2
  • J. M. Colebrook
    • 3
  • J. Horwood
    • 4
  • I. R. Joint
    • 3
  • R. Lampitt
    • 5
  • S. W. Nixon
    • 6
  • M. E. Q. Pilson
    • 6
  • F. Wulff
    • 7
  1. 1.Netherlands Institute for Sea ResearchTexalNetherlands
  2. 2.Horn Point Environmental LaboratoriesUniversity of MarylandCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Marine Environmental ResearchPlymouth, DevonUK
  4. 4.Fisheries and Food, Fisheries LaboratoryMinistry of AgricultureLowestoft, SuffolkUK
  5. 5.Institute of Oceanographic SciencesWormley, Godalming, SurreyUK
  6. 6.Graduate School of OceanographyUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA
  7. 7.Asko LaboratoryTrosaSweden

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