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N2, N2O and O2profiles in a Tagus estuary salt marsh

Cartaxana, P. and Lloyd, D. 1999. N2, N2O and O2profiles in a Tagus estuary salt marsh. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 48 (6) , 751--756.

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Vertical gas profiles of N2, N2O and O2were obtained in intact sediment cores from a Tagus estuary salt marsh using membrane inlet mass spectrometry. This technique allows direct measurements of dissolved gas concentrations with minimal disturbance. O2concentrations decreased sharply with depth, becoming undetectable below 14mm. Denitrification products (N2and N2O) occurred in the surface layer of the sediment where O2was present. Diffusion of N2and N2O from the anaerobic zone, denitrification in anaerobic microsites and aerobic denitrification are possible explanations for this observation. N2was the sole product of denitrification in control sediment cores probably because of the great demand for electron acceptors in this sediment. The addition of NO3 − and CH3CO2 − increased the concentrations of N2and N2O in the sediment. Significantly higher concentrations in treated cores occurred between 1·5 and 2·0cm for N2and between 0·5 and 1·5cm for N2O. The peak in N2concentration occurred in the anaerobic zone of the sediment, close to the aerobic–anaerobic interface while the peak in N2O concentration occurred above this interface where concentrations of O2were approximately 10μM. This is indicative that, in this sediment, production of N2O is less sensitive to the presence of O2than reduction of N2O to N2.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0272-7714
Date of Acceptance: 1 December 1998
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2020 14:30

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