Large natural pH, CO2 and O2 fluctuations in a temperate tidal salt marsh on diel, seasonal, and interannual time scales

Estuaries and Coasts
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University; USGS NYWSC;
By: , and 

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Abstract

Coastal marine organisms experience dynamic pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions in their natural habitats, which may impact their susceptibility to long-term anthropogenic changes. Robust characterizations of all temporal scales of natural pH and DO fluctuations in different marine habitats are needed; however, appropriate time series of pH and DO are still scarce. We used multiyear (2008–2012), high-frequency (6 min) monitoring data to quantify diel, seasonal, and interannual scales of pH and DO variability in a productive, temperate tidal salt marsh (Flax Pond, Long Island, US). pHNBS and DO showed strong and similar seasonal patterns, with average (minimum) conditions declining from 8.2 (8.1) and 12.5 (11.4) mg l−1 at the end of winter to 7.6 (7.2) and 6.3 (2.8) mg l−1 in late summer, respectively. Concomitantly, average diel fluctuations increased from 0.22 and 2.2 mg l−1 (February) to 0.74 and 6.5 mg l−1 (August), respectively. Diel patterns were modulated by tides and time of day, eliciting the most extreme minima when low tides aligned with the end of the night. Simultaneous in situ pCO2 measurements showed striking fluctuations between ∼330 and ∼1,200 (early May), ∼2,200 (mid June), and ∼4,000 μatm (end of July) within single tidal cycles. These patterns also indicate that the marsh’s strong net heterotrophy influences its adjacent estuary by ‘outwelling’ acidified and hypoxic water during ebb tides. Our analyses emphasize the coupled and fluctuating nature of pH and DO conditions in productive coastal and estuarine environments, which have yet to be adequately represented by experiments.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Large natural pH, CO2 and O2 fluctuations in a temperate tidal salt marsh on diel, seasonal, and interannual time scales
Series title Estuaries and Coasts
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Estuarine Research Federation
Publisher location Port Republic, MD
Contributing office(s) New York Water Science Center
Description 12 p.
First page 1
Last page 12
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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