Tidal variability in benthic silicic acid fluxes and microphytobenthos uptake in intertidal sediment

Abstract : Silicic acid (DSi) benthic fluxes play a major role in the benthic-pelagic coupling of coastal ecosystems. They can sustain microphytobenthos (MPB) development at the water-sediment interface and support pelagic diatoms when river DSi inputs decrease. DSi benthic fluxes have been studied at the seasonal scale but little is known about their dial variations. This study measured the amplitude of such variations in an intertidal area over an entire tidal cycle by following the alteration of DSi pore water concentrations at regular intervals over the flood/ebb period. Furthermore we independently estimated the potential DSi uptake by benthic diatoms and compared it to the variations of DSi pore water concentrations and fluxes. The microphytobenthos DSi demand was estimated from primary production measurements on cells extracted from the sediment. There were large changes in DSi pore water concentration and a prominent effect of tidal pumping: the DSi flushed out from the sediment at rising tide, occurs in a very short period of time, but plays a far more important role in fueling the ecosystem (800 μmol-Si m−2 d−1), than diffusive fluxes occurring throughout the rest of the tidal cycle (2 μmol-Si m−2 d−1). This process is not, to our knowledge, currently considered when describing the DSi cycling of intertidal sediments. Moreover, there was a large potential MPB requirement for DSi (812 μmol-Si m−2 d−1), similar to the advective flow periodically pumped by the incoming tide, and largely exceeded benthic diffusive fluxes. However, this DSi uptake by benthic diatoms is almost undetectable given the variation of DSi concentration profiles within the sediment.
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Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Elsevier, 2011, 95 (1), pp.59-66. 〈10.1016/j.ecss.2011.08.005〉
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Aude Leynaert, Sorcha Ni Longphuirt, Soonmo An, Jae-Hyun Lim, Pascal Claquin, et al.. Tidal variability in benthic silicic acid fluxes and microphytobenthos uptake in intertidal sediment. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Elsevier, 2011, 95 (1), pp.59-66. 〈10.1016/j.ecss.2011.08.005〉. 〈hal-00644742〉

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