Unger, Daniela, Herbeck, Lucia S., Li, Min, Bao, Hongyan, Wu, Ying, Zhang, Jing and Jennerjahn, Tim (2013) Sources, transformation and fate of particulate amino acids and hexosamines under varying hydrological regimes in the tropical Wenchang/Wenjiao Rivers and Estuary, Hainan, China. Continental Shelf Research, 57 . pp. 44-58. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2012.02.014.

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Abstract

The small tropical Wenchang and Wenjiao Rivers on the island of Hainan, tropical China, are affected by effluents from municipal sewage, aquaculture and agriculture, and by contrasting hydrological regimes related to monsoon and tropical storms. In order to obtain information on the sources, transformation and fate of organic matter (OM) we investigated the amount and composition of amino acids and hexosamines as well as the carbon isotope composition in suspended particulate matter (SPM) from the Wenchang/Wenjiao Estuary. SPM was collected along the salinity gradient starting from the river sites, along the lagoon-shaped Bamen Bay to coastal waters during four sampling campaigns between 2006 and 2009. SPM concentrations ranged between 4.7 and 58.2 mg L−1. Apart from highest values after heavy rain events in spring and summer, SPM showed little seasonal variation, but increased with salinity. From SPM POC% (1.2–20.9%), C/N (4.9–16.5) and δ13Corg (−31.5 to −19.5‰), the molar composition and content of amino acids and hexosamines (8.2–156.2 mg g−1 dry weight) and by comparison with sediments, mangroves, soils and plants we are able to show that soil-derived material, freshwater and marine plankton were the major sources of suspended OM. High POC and amino acid contents were related to primary production sustained by dissolved nutrients to a large extent stemming from municipal and aquaculture effluents. Factor analysis showed that the suite of biogeochemical parameters measured clearly depict the terrestrial vs. marine origin and the freshness/reactivity of OM. The four groups of samples resulting from cluster analysis were basically related to varying hydrological regimes. With respect to the sources, degradation and fate of particulate OM the major factors were: (i) the year round input of labile, amino acid rich riverine OM matter at the freshwater dominated sites, (ii) high input of degraded soil OM after heavy rains with dispersal throughout the estuary and export to the adjacent coastal area, (iii) significant production of labile marine OM especially during summer inside the bay and the (iv) dominance of refractory marine OM during winter and spring season and in the offshore region. While a major part of the fresh OM fuelled by anthropogenic nutrients appears to be stored or recycled inside the bay, periodic torrential rainfalls can lead to a pulsed export of this OM to the coastal area where it may adversely affect seagrass meadows and coral reefs.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: Biogeochemistry and Geology > Ecological Biogeochemistry
Biogeochemistry and Geology
Affiliations > Not ZMT
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2012.02.014
ISSN: 02784343
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2019 13:23
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:59
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/2712

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