Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus budgets

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Background/Summary

We commonly use budgets as a tool for studying the flow of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in coastal systems.

The metabolism of temperate coastal ecosystems is closely linked to the magnitude of terrestrially derived nutrient (C, N, P) loads (Nixon et al. 1986; Borum, 1996; Kemp et al., 1997). However, it remains difficult to predict the impact of increased nutrient loading on different coastal ecosystems, particularly tropical systems, because of confounding physical and biogeochemical factors (Pennock et al., 1994; Eyre and Balls, 1999; Cloern, 2001) and the influence of other nutrient sources and sinks such as the atmosphere and adjacent ocean (Smith, 1984; Paerls et al. 1994; Eyre and France 1997; Smith and Hollibaugh, 1997). Construction of nutrient budgets is way of constraining these compounding factors, which then allows an evaluation of the pathways of nutrient flow and the fate and effect of nutrient loads on the metabolism of coastal ecosystems. Nutrient budgets also provide a means of quantitatively comparing different coastal systems.

The overall aim of this budgeting work is to establish a quantitative inventory of the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus inputs, exports, standing stocks, and the cycling between major compartments in the coastal systems of interest, mostly tropical and subtropical systems. This gives insight into the way nutrient inputs are modified as they move from the land into coastal waters and how these, in conjunction with internal biological fluxes, effect the system metabolism. This then allows the systems of interest to be compared with other shallow coastal systems to enhance the understanding of nutrient behaviour and to place the findings in a regional and global context.

Relevant Publications

Eyre, B. D., Maher, D. T. and Sanders, C. 2016. The contribution of denitrification and burial to the nitrogen budgets of three geomorphically distinct Australian estuaries: importance of seagrass habitats. Limnology and Oceanography 61, 1144-1156.

Maher, D. and Eyre, B. D. 2012. Carbon budgets for three autotrophic Australian estuaries: Implications for global estimates of the coastal air-water CO2 flux. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 26, GB1032.

Eyre, B. D., A. J. P. Ferguson, A. Webb, D. Maher and J. M. Oakes. 2011. Denitrification, N-fixation and nitrogen and phosphorus fluxes in different benthic habitats and their contribution to the nitrogen and phosphorus budgets of a shallow oligotrophic sub-tropical coastal system (southern Moreton Bay, Australia). Biogeochemistry 102, 111-133.

Eyre, B. D., A. J. P. Ferguson, A. Webb, D. Maher and J. M. Oakes. 2011. Metabolism of different benthic habitats and their contribution to the carbon budget of a shallow oligotrophic sub-tropical coastal system (southern Moreton Bay, Australia). Biogeochemistry 102, 87-110.

Wulff, F., Eyre, B. D. and Johnstone, R. 2011. Nitrogen versus phosphorus limitation in a sub-tropical coastal embayment (Moreton Bay, Australia): Implications for Management. Ecological Modelling 222, 120-130.

Ferguson, A. J. P. and Eyre, B. D. 2010. Carbon and nitrogen cycling in a shallow productive sub-tropical coastal embayment (western Moreton Bay, Australia). Ecosystems 13, 1127-1144.

Eyre, B. D. and McKee, L. 2002. Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus budgets for a shallow sub-tropical coastal embayment (Moreton Bay, Australia). Limnology and Oceanography 47, 1043-1055.

McKee, L. and Eyre, B. D. 2000. Nitrogen and phosphorus budgets for the sub-tropical Richmond River catchment, Australia. Biogeochemistry 50, 207-239.

McKee, L., Eyre, B. D and Hossain, S. 2000. Transport and retention of nitrogen and phosphorus in the sub-tropical Richmond River estuary, Australia. Biogeochemistry 50, 241-278.

Eyre, B. D., Hossain, S. and McKee, L. 1998. A sediment budget for the modified sub-tropical Brisbane River estuary, Australia. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 47, 513-522.

Eyre, B. D., 1995. A First-Order Nutrient Budget for the Tropical Moresby Estuary and Catchment North Queensland, Australia. Journal of Coastal Research, 11, 717-732.

Eyre, B. D. and Maher, D. 2010. Structure and function of warm temperate east Australian coastal lagoons: implications for natural and anthropogenic change. In: Kennish, M. J. and Paerl, H. W. (eds.). Coastal Lagoons: Critical habitats of environmental change. CRC Press. pp. 457 to 481.

Eyre, B. D., Pepperell, P. and Davies, P., 1999. Budgets for Australian Estuarine Systems: Tropical Systems. In: Smith, S. V. and Crossland, C. J. (eds), Australasian Estuarine Systems: Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fluxes. pp. 9-11. LOICZ Reports and Studies No. 12. Loicz, Texel, The Netherlands. ISBN: 1383-4304.

Eyre, B. D. and Pepperell, P., 1999. Budgets for Australian Estuarine Systems: Subtropical Systems. In: Smith, S. V. and Crossland, C. J. (eds), Australasian Estuarine Systems: Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fluxes. pp. 12-18. LOICZ Reports and Studies No. 12. Loicz, Texel, The Netherlands. ISBN: 1383-4304.

Opdyke, B. N., Smith, S. V., Eyre, B. D., Heggie, D. T., Skyring, G. G., Crossland, C. J., and Zeldis, J., 1999. Australasian coastal systems overview. In: Smith, S. V. and Crossland, C. J. (eds), Australasian Estuarine Systems: Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fluxes. pp. 125-128. LOICZ Reports and Studies No. 12. Loicz, Texel, The Netherlands. ISBN: 1383-4304.

McKee, L. and Eyre, B. D., 1999. Richmond River Estuary (New South Wales) inter-annual budgets from seasonal and event monitoring: a modified LOICZ approach. In: Smith, S. V. and Crossland, C. J. (eds), Australasian Estuarine Systems: Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fluxes. pp. 145-154. LOICZ Reports and Studies No. 12. Loicz, Texel, The Netherlands. ISBN: 1383-4304.