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Carbon Dioxide Fluxes Across the Air-Water Interface and Its Impact on Carbon Availability in Aquatic Systems

Robert Portielje and Lambertus Lijklema
Limnology and Oceanography
Vol. 40, No. 4 (Jun., 1995), pp. 690-699
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2838304
Page Count: 10
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Carbon Dioxide Fluxes Across the Air-Water Interface and Its Impact on Carbon Availability in Aquatic Systems
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Abstract

Diffusion of $CO_2$ across the air-water interface was analyzed with a model that simulates both transport and reaction of $CO_2$ in a stagnant boundary layer. The atmospheric C influx was determined in relation to several environmental variables: pH, total dissolved inorganic C, temperature, and the thickness of the stagnant boundary layer in relation to ambient windspeed. We used the model to calculate the atmospheric $CO_2$ influx into six experimental ditches for a period of 6 or 8 months, starting in early spring. Three of the six ditches were dominated by aquatic macrophytes and three by benthic algae. Each series received three levels of external N and P input. A comparison with net C assimilation during the same period, as estimated from continuous oxygen measurements, showed that, especially in the ditches dominated by submersed macrophytes, a sizable fraction of the C requirements during this period could have been obtained from atmospheric $CO_2$. In the ditches dominated by benthic algae, this fraction was considerably less, but nonetheless substantial, and was related to the level of N and P loading. Increased primary production due to enhanced external N and P loading increased the atmospheric C input due to the resultant higher pH values. The trophic state with respect to N and P and the availability of C are therefore interrelated.

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