Biological and biogeochemical methods for estimating bioirrigation: A case study in the Oosterschelde estuary

Emil De Borger*, Justin Tiano, Ulrike Braeckman, Tom Ysebaert, Karline Soetaert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bioirrigation, the exchange of solutes between overlying water and sediment by benthic organisms, plays an important role in sediment biogeochemistry. Bioirrigation either is quantified based on tracer data or a community (bio)irrigation potential (IPc) can be derived based on biological traits. Both these techniques were applied in a seasonal study of bioirrigation in subtidal and intertidal habitats in a temperate estuary. The combination of a tracer time series with a high temporal resolution and a mechanistic model allowed for us to simultaneously estimate the pumping rate and the sediment attenuation, a parameter that determines irrigation depth. We show that, although the total pumping rate is similar in both intertidal and subtidal areas, there is deeper bioirrigation in intertidal areas. This is explained by higher densities of bioirrigators such as Corophium sp., Heteromastus filiformis and Arenicola marina in the intertidal, as opposed to the subtidal, areas. The IPc correlated more strongly with the attenuation coefficient than the pumping rate, which highlights that the IPc index reflects more the bioirrigation depth than the rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1701-1715
Number of pages15
JournalBiogeosciences
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Biological and biogeochemical methods for estimating bioirrigation: A case study in the Oosterschelde estuary'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this