Unravelling pathways of nitrogen cycling in the muddy sediments of shallow coastal systems using biomarkers, stable isotope tracer experiments and modelling
Funding: ARC Discovery 2008 to 2010
Investigators: Joanne Oakes (SCU), Bradley Eyre (SCU), Jack Middelburg (NIOO)
Background / Summary:
Many hundreds of millions of dollars are likely to be spent over the next ten years on the management of nitrogen enrichment, and protection of biodiversity in coastal waters. This project will significantly advance our understanding of how organisms from bacteria to macrofauna affect the processing of nitrogen in coastal systems. This is a crucial step towards effectively managing these environments and protecting biodiversity. Components of this project have used stable isotope tracer techniques, to examine the uptake and transformation of nitrogen (and carbon) in intertidal and subtidal sediments, in tropical, temperate and arctic coastal systems, over short and extended timescales. Of particular interest is how different forms of nitrogen (e.g., nitrate / dissolved organic nitrogen) are processed, and how transformations of nitrogen and carbon vary in different coastal systems. Findings from this research will have direct implications to the management, rehabilitation and protection of waterways (including biodiversity) in Australia, and overseas.
13C and 15N labelled intertidal plot in Greenland (arctic)
Labelling benthic microalgae with 13C and 15N in the Richmond River Estuary (sub-tropical)
Oakes, J. M., Bautista, M. D., Jones, W. B., Maher, D., and Eyre, B. D. Carbon self-utilisation may assist Caulerpa taxifolia invasion. Limnology and Oceanography (revision requested April 2011). JIF = 3.66; (ERA Rank A).
Oakes J. M., Eyre B. D., Middelburg J. J., Boschker H. T. S. 2010. Composition, production, and loss of carbohydrates in subtropical shallow subtidal sandy sediments: Rapid processing and long-term retention revealed by 13C-labeling. Limnology and Oceanography 55, 2126-2138.
Updated: 03 May 2011