The present study investigates the differences between nutrient fluxes and particulate organic matter within an artificial reef system (AR) deployed in August 2002 off Faro (Algarve, Southern Portugal) and in a non-reef area (NRA), and how fluxes and suspended material may be affected by the hydrodynamic regime. Surveys to collect sediment cores, suspended/settled particles and overlying water samples were carried out by divers, from March (2006) to October (2007) in AR and NRA. Sediment cores and settled particles were collected to determine grain size, organic and inorganic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus content. Overlying water and pore water samples were analysed for ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, silicate, dissolved organic nitrogen, dissolved organic phosphorus and chlorophyll a. Results from the period studied showed that: (1) the benthic export of dissolved N, P and Si was 2–3 times higher at AR; (2) the particulate organic carbon (POC), nitrogen (PON) and phosphorus (POP) in suspended/settled particles were about 1.5 times higher at AR; (3) at both AR and NRA, the benthic export of dissolved N, P and Si, during a calm weather period, was 2–4 times higher than during or immediately after a storm event; and (4) at both sites, particulate organic compounds (POC, PON and POP) increased about 20 times during a storm event. These findings suggest that both the nutrients transport from sediment to water column and the quantity/quality of suspended/settled particles were highly dependent on the existence of reef structures and on the hydrodynamic regime.
Effects of Artificial Reefs (Southern Portugal) on Sediment-Water Transport of Nutrients: Importance of the Hydrodynamic Regime
Title: Effects of Artificial Reefs (Southern Portugal) on Sediment-Water Transport of Nutrients: Importance of the Hydrodynamic Regime
August 01, 2009
Journal: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Sciences
Falcão, M.; Santos, M.; Drago, T.; Serpa, D.; Monteiro, C. (2009). Effects of Artificial Reefs (Southern Portugal) on Sediment-Water Transport of Nutrients: Importance of the Hydrodynamic Regime. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Sciences, 83(4), 451-459.