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Salinity and Nitrogen

Estuaries intercept nitrogen as it travels from watersheds to coastal waters, but the effectiveness of this ecosystem service varies widely. PIE scientists discovered that the magnitude and timing of salinity changes in tidal waters may control the processing of the nitrogen, which may impact the frequency and severity of algal blooms along the coast.

Bernhard, A.E., J. Tucker, A.E. Giblin, D.A. Stahl. 2007. Functionally different communities of ammonia oxidizing bacteria along an estuarine salinity gradient. Environmental Microbiology 9: 1439-1447.
Giblin, A.E., N. Weston, G. Banta, J. Tucker and C.S. Hopkinson. (2010) The effects of salinity on nitrogen loss from an oligohaline estuarine sediment. Estuaries and Coasts 33: 1054-1068.
Weston, N. B., A.E. Giblin, G. Banta, C.S. Hopkinson, and J. Tucker. (2010) The effects of varying salinity on ammonium exchange in estuarine sediments of the Parker River, Massachusetts. Estuaries and Coasts 33: 985-1003.
Anne E. Giblin
An aerial view of the Parker River Estuary
Charles Hopkinson
Inter-annual variability in ammonium fluxes from sediments in the Upper Parker River Estuary. Years with high ammonium fluxes (such as 1993) correspond to dry years where the salinity rose to over 15 psu. In contrast, ammonium fluxes were low in 1996 when salinities never above 5 psu during the measurement periods.
Giblin et al. (2010)

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