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Geochemical Transactions

, 3:17

First Online: 20 February 2002Received: 15 November 2001Accepted: 05 February 2002


Irrigation by benthic macrofauna has a major influence on the biogeochemistry and microbial community structure of sediments. Existing quantitative models of bioirrigation rely primarily on chemical, rather than ecological, information and the depth-dependence of bioirrigation intensity is either imposed or constrained through a data fitting procedure. In this study, stochastic simulations of 3D burrow networks are used to calculate mean densities, volumes and wall surface areas of burrows, as well as their variabilities, as a function of sediment depth. Burrow networks of the following model organisms are considered: the polychaete worms Nereis diversicolor and Schizocardium sp., the shrimp Callianassa subterranea, the echiuran worm Maxmuelleria lankesteri, the fiddler crabs Uca minax, U. pugnax and U. pugilator, and the mud crabs Sesarma reticulatum and Eurytium limosum. Consortia of these model organisms are then used to predict burrow networks in a shallow water carbonate sediment at Dry Tortugas, FL, and in two intertidal saltmarsh sites at Sapelo Island, GA. Solute-specific nonlocal bioirrigation coefficients are calculated from the depth-dependent burrow surface areas and the radial diffusive length scale around the burrows. Bioirrigation coefficients for sulfate obtained from network simulations, with the diffusive length scales constrained by sulfate reduction rate profiles, agree with independent estimates of bioirrigation coefficients based on pore water chemistry. Bioirrigation coefficients for O2 derived from the stochastic model, with the diffusion length scales constrained by O2 microprofiles measured at the sediment-water interface, are larger than irrigation coefficients based on vertical pore water chemical profiles. This reflects, in part, the rapid attenuation with depth of the O2 concentration within the burrows, which reduces the driving force for chemical transfer across the burrow walls. Correction for the depletion of O2 in the burrows results in closer agreement between stochastically-derived and chemically-derived irrigation coefficient profiles.

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Autor: Carla M. Koretsky - Christof Meile - Philippe Van Cappellen

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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