Bonus Projects

Sources & Sinks: A Tale of Coastal Biogeochemistry - BONUS COCOA

Insights into the biogeochemistry work of the COCOA project: from the water column to the sediment, from the field to the lab. Secrets of the coastal filter and a life in aquatic sciences.
12.09.2018 12:19

New COCOA publication!

A new study from the BONUS COCOA project has recently been published:


Irma Vybernaite-Lubiene (Marine Research Institute, Klaipeda University, Lithuania) and co-workers intensively sampled the Nemunas River just before the Curonian Lagoon, in order to calculate monthly loads of nutrients generated by one of the main point pollution sources of the Baltic Sea. During 2012–2016, they patiently created an extensive data set, including all forms of nitrogen (N), silicate (Si) and phosphorous (P), to investigate seasonal and annual nutrient variations with respect to discharge, climatic features, and historical trends.
Irma_COCOA

Results show that nutrient loads varied yearly by up to 50% and their concentrations underwent strong seasonality, with N and Si limitation during summer. Changes in agricultural practices resulted in similar N export from the river watershed compared to historical data (1986–2002), while improvements in sewage treatment led to a ~60% decrease of P loads.
Irma concludes that further P reductions are needed to avoid unbalanced dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus (DIN:DIP~10) ecological stoichiometry in summer, which may stimulate undesired cyanobacterial blooms.


These data are an important contribution to the scattered available information on the largest nutrient source to the Curonian Lagoon and add another piece to the puzzle explaining the links among watersheds and downstream transitional aquatic ecosystems suffering non-linear responses and frequent collapse events (…and furthermore, they allow Irma to dance her PhD in a couple of months, well done and fingers crossed!).



You can read the full story here:

Vybernaite-Lubiene I, Zilius M, Saltyte-Vaisiauske L, Bartoli M (2018) Recent Trends (2012–2016) of N, Si, and P Export from the Nemunas River Watershed: Loads, Unbalanced Stoichiometry, and Threats for Downstream Aquatic Ecosystems. Water10(9),1178. www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/10/9/1178

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