Nitrogen cycling in Sabine Lake

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2001

Authors

An, Soonmo, 1964-
Gardner, Wayne Stanley, 1941-
McCarthy, Mark J. (Marine scientist)

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As a part of continuing efforts to investigate nitrogen cycling in Texas estuaries, denitrification, nitrogen fixation, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA), and sediment oxygen demand were measured in Sabine Lake, Texas. Estuarine phytoplankton production can be limited by N availability, and sediments often are an important source of dissolved inorganic N ... . Denitrification transforms combined N to gaseous forms ... . These end-products represent unavailable nutrient sources to most estuarine producers (e.g., phytoplankton and bacteria; Howarth et al. 1988). Thus, denitrification may drive systems toward N limitation (Seitzinger 1990). The purposes of this study were to evaluate the importance of denitrification in nitrogen cycling and examine environmental conditions influencing nitrogen cycling in Sabine Lake. A membrane inlet mass spectrometer (MIMS) for dissolved gas measurement and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system for ammonium isotope measurements were used to quantify denitrification, N-fixation, DNRA, and sediment oxygen demand. Four sampling trips to Sabine Lake were made in June, September, December 2000 and March 2001. Here, we report water column measurements and incubation experiment results.
Final report submitted to: The Texas Water Development Board, contract #2000-483-337
July 2001

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