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Article
Differences in benthic metabolism, nutrient fluxes, and denitrification in Caulerpa taxifolia communities compared to uninvaded bare sediment and seagrass (Zostera capricorni) habitats
Limnology and Oceanography
  • Bradley D Eyre, Southern Cross University
  • Damien Troy Maher, Southern Cross University
  • Joanne Margaret Oakes, Southern Cross University
  • Dirk V Erler, Southern Cross University
  • Tim M Glasby, Southern Cross University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
1-1-2011
Peer Reviewed
Peer-Reviewed
Abstract
Benthic metabolism, nutrient fluxes, and denitrification were measured in Caulerpa taxifolia communities that had recently invaded (between 2003 and 2008) bare sediments following the loss of Zostera capricorni (prior to 2003), and in adjacent Z. capricorni communities and bare sediments, to determine the likely changes in ecosystem function following C. taxifolia colonization. Areas colonized by C. taxifolia had higher gross primary production (GPP), net primary production (NPP), and dark benthic N2 effluxes than adjacent bare sediments, but lower dark benthic NH+4 effluxes. C. taxifolia invasion of bare sediments had a beneficial role in removing excess nitrogen from the system through enhanced denitrification. In contrast, areas occupied by C. taxifolia had similar GPP and NPP relative to Z. capricorni beds and similar benthic N2 and NH+4 effluxes. Thus, C. taxifolia appears to play a comparable role to Z. capricorni in terms of some ecosystem functions, although the degree of similarity is likely to be affected by the relative densities of the two macrophytes. However, replacement of Z. capricorni communities by C. taxifolia appears to significantly alter the quantity and quality (higher ratio) of benthic dissolved organic carbon and dissolved organic nitrogen fluxes.
Citation Information

Eyre, BD, Maher, DT, Oakes, JM, Erler, DV & Glasby, TM 2011, 'Differences in benthic metabolism, nutrient fluxes, and denitrification in Caulerpa taxifolia communities compared to uninvaded bare sediment and seagrass (Zostera capricorni) habitats', Limnology and Oceanography, vol. 56, no. 5, pp. 1737-1750.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.4319/lo.2011.56.5.1737