Dissolved oxygen: Chapter 6

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Abstract

Dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration serves as an important indicator of estuarine habitat condition, because all aquatic macro-organisms require some minimum DO level to survive and prosper. The instantaneous DO concentration, measured at a specific location in the water column, results from a balance between multiple processes that add or remove oxygen (Figure 6.1): primary production produces O2; aerobic respiration in the water column and sediments consumes O2; abiotic or microbially-mediated biogeochemical reactions utilize O2 as an oxidant (e.g., oxidation of ammonium, sulfide, and ferrous iron); O2 exchange occurs across the air:water interface in response to under- or oversaturated DO concentrations in the water column; and water currents and turbulent mixing transport DO into and out of zones in the water column. If the oxygen loss rate exceeds the oxygen production or input rate, DO concentration decreases. When DO losses exceed production or input over a prolonged enough period of time, hypoxia ((<2-3 mg/L) or anoxia can develop. Persistent hypoxia or anoxia causes stress or death in aquatic organism populations, or for organisms that can escape a hypoxic or anoxic area, the loss of habitat. In addition, sulfide, which is toxic to aquatic organisms and causes odor problems, escapes from sediments under low oxygen conditions. Low dissolved oxygen is a common aquatic ecosystem response to elevated organic

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Report
Title Dissolved oxygen: Chapter 6
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher San Francisco Estuary Institute
Publisher location Richmond, CA
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Description 23 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Other Report
Larger Work Title Lower South Bay nutrient synthesis
First page 94
Last page 116
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