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Comparison of benthic oxygen exchange measured by aquatic Eddy Covariance and Benthic Chambers in two contrasting coastal biotopes (Bay of Brest, France)
Polsenaere, P.; Deflandre, B.; Thouzeau, G.; Rigaud, S.; Cox, T.; Amice, E.; Le Bec, T.; Bihannic, I.; Maire, O. (2021). Comparison of benthic oxygen exchange measured by aquatic Eddy Covariance and Benthic Chambers in two contrasting coastal biotopes (Bay of Brest, France). Regional Studies in Marine Science 43: 101668.
In: Regional Studies in Marine Science. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 2352-4855, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Benthic; O2; fluxes; Aquatic Eddy Covariance; Benthic Chambers; Maerl bed; Bare mudflat; Bay of Brest

Authors  Top 
  • Polsenaere, P., more
  • Deflandre, B.
  • Thouzeau, G.
  • Rigaud, S.
  • Cox, T., more
  • Amice, E.
  • Le Bec, T.
  • Bihannic, I.
  • Maire, O.


    To the best of our knowledge, the understanding of benthic metabolism of coastal sedimentary areas is still limited due to the complexity of determining their true in situ dynamics over large spatial and temporal scales. Multidisciplinary methodological approaches are then necessary to increase our comprehension of factors controlling benthic processes and fluxes. An aquatic Eddy Covariance (EC) system and Benthic Chambers (BC) were simultaneously deployed during the winter of 2013 in the Bay of Brest within a Maerl bed and a bare mudflat to quantify and compare O2 exchange at the sediment–water interface. Environmental abiotic parameters (i.e., light, temperature, salinity, current velocity and water depth) were additionally monitored to better understand the mechanisms driving benthic O2 exchange. At both sites, EC measurements showed short-term variations (i.e. 15 min) in benthic O2 fluxes according to environmental conditions. At the Maerl station, EC fluxes ranged from-21.0 mmol m−2 d−1 to 71.3 mmol m−2 d −1 and averaged 22.0 ± 32.7 mmol m−2 d−1 (mean ± SD), whilst at the bare muddy station, EC fluxes ranged from -43.1mmol m−2 d−1 to 12.1 mmol m−2 d −1 and averaged -15.9 ± 14.0 mmol m−2 d−1 (mean ± SD) during the total deployment. Eddy Covariance and Benthic Chambers measurements showed similar patterns of temporal O2 flux changes at both sites. However, at the Maerl station, BC may have underestimated community respiration. This may be due to the relative large size of the EC footprint (compared to BC), which takes into account the mesoscale spatial heterogeneity (e.g. may have included contributions from bare sediment patches). Also, we hypothesize that the influence of bioturbation induced by large-sized mobile benthic fauna on sediment oxygen consumption was not fully captured by BC compared to EC. Overall, the results of the present study highlight the importance of taking into account specific methodology limitations with respect to sediment spatial macro-heterogeneity and short-term variations of environmental parameters to accurately assess benthic O2 exchange in the various benthic ecosystems of the coastal zone.

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