Title

Elevated rates of organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus accumulation in a highly impacted mangrove wetland

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Sanders, CJ, Eyre, BD, Santos, IR, Machado, W, Luiz-Silva, W, Smoak, JM, Breithaupt, JL, Ketterer, ME, Sanders, L, Marotta, H & Silva-Fiho, E 2014, 'Elevated rates of organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus accumulation in a highly impacted mangrove wetland', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 41, no. 7, pp. 2475-2480.

Published version available from:

http://doi.org/10.1002/2014GL059789

Abstract

The effect of nutrient enrichment on mangrove sediment accretion and carbon accumulation rates is poorly understood. Here we quantify sediment accretion through radionuclide tracers to determine organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphorus (TP) accumulation rates during the previous 60 years in both a nutrient-enriched and a pristine mangrove forest within the same geomorphological region of southeastern Brazil. The forest receiving high nutrient loads has accumulated OC, TN, and TP at rates that are fourfold, twofold, and eightfold respectively, higher than those from the undisturbed mangrove. Organic carbon and TN stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) reflect an increased presence of organic matter (OM) originating with either phytoplankton, benthic algae, or another allochthonous source within the more rapidly accumulated sediments of the impacted mangrove. This suggests that the accumulation rate of OM in eutrophic mangrove systems may be enhanced through the addition of autochthonous and allochthonous nonmangrove material.