Tidal marshes and biogenic silica recycling at the land-sea interface

Struyf, Eric, Armel Dausse, Stefan Van Damme, Kris Bal, Britta Gribsholt, Henricus T. S. Boschker, Jack J. Middelburg, Patrick Meire

Limnol. Oceanogr., 51(2), 2006, 838-846 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2006.51.2.0838

ABSTRACT: We studied the seasonal exchange of biogenic silica (BSi) and dissolved silica (DSi) between a freshwater and a saltwater tidal marsh and the adjacent coastal waters. Export of DSi was observed from both tidal marshes, whereas BSi was imported in association with suspended solids. The export of DSi was highest (23.4% and 123.8% in the freshwater and saltwater marsh, respectively) in summer when DSi concentrations were low in the nearby coastal waters. Combined data from both marshes suggested a logarithmic decrease in DSi export with increasing DSi concentrations in the inundating waters. BSi import was observed year round in the freshwater marsh, but only in summer in the saltwater marsh. The results show that DSi export from tidal marshes, both freshwater and salt water, contributes significantly to estuarine Si availability in summer and provide new insights regarding potential linkages between tidal marshes and secondary production in nearby coastal waters.

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