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Sources of organic carbon in mangrove sediments: variability and possible ecological implications
Bouillon, S.; Dahdouh-Guebas, F.; Rao, A.V.V.S.; Koedam, N; Dehairs, F.A. (2003). Sources of organic carbon in mangrove sediments: variability and possible ecological implications. Hydrobiologia 495(1-3): 33-39.
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague. ISSN 0018-8158; e-ISSN 1573-5117, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Chemical elements > Nonmetals > Atmospheric gases > Nitrogen
    Chemical elements > Nonmetals > Carbon
    Isotopes > Stable isotopes
    India [Marine Regions]; Sri Lanka [Marine Regions]
    Brackish water
Author keywords
    carbon; ecosystem functioning; India; mangroves; nitrogen; sediments; Sri Lanka; stable isotopes

Authors  Top 
  • Bouillon, S., more
  • Dahdouh-Guebas, F., more
  • Rao, A.V.V.S.

    Mangrove sediments from three different mangrove ecosystems (Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary in the Godavari Delta, Andhra Pradesh, India, and Galle and Pambala, south-west Sri Lanka) were analysed for their organic carbon content, elemental ratios (C:N) and carbon stable isotope composition. Organic carbon content (0.6 – 31.7% dry weight), C/N ratios (7.0 – 27.3) and d13C (between –29.4 and –20.6‰) showed a wide range of values. Lower stocks of organic carbon coincided with low C/N (atom) ratios and less negative d13C values, indicating import of marine or estuarine particulate suspended matter. High organic carbon stocks coincided with high C/N ratios and d13C values close, but not equal, to those of the mangrove vegetation. The variations observed in this study and published literature data could be adequately described by a simple two-end mixing model, whereby marine/estuarine suspended matter and mangrove litter were taken as end members. Thus, while in some mangrove ecosystems or vegetation zones, organic carbon stocks can be very high and are almost entirely of mangrove origin, there also appear to be cases in which deposited estuarine or marine suspended matter is the dominant source of organic carbon and nitrogen in mangrove sediments. This situation is remarkably similar to that observed in temperate salt marsh ecosystems where the importance of local vascular plant production to the sediment organic carbon pool is equally variable. The observed high variability in organic matter origin is thought to have a major impact on the overall carbon dynamics in intertidal mangrove ecosystems.

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