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Denitrification Rates Measured along a Salinity Gradient in the Eutrophic Neuse River Estuary, North Carolina, USA

John M. Fear, Suzanne P. Thompson, Thomas E. Gallo and Hans W. Paerl
Estuaries
Vol. 28, No. 4 (Aug., 2005), pp. 608-619
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3526991
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Denitrification Rates Measured along a Salinity Gradient in the Eutrophic Neuse River Estuary, North Carolina, USA
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Abstract

Denitrification rates along a salinity gradient in the eutrophic Neuse River Estuary, North Carolina, were quantified using membrane inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS) within short-term batch incubations. Denitrification rates within the system were highly variable, ranging from 0 to 275 μ mol N m-2 h-1. Intrasite variability increased with salinity, but no significant differences were observed across the salinity gradient. Denitrification rates were positively correlated with sediment oxygen demand at the upstream sampling site where sediment organic carbon levels were lowest. This relationship was not observed in the more saline sampling sites. Denitrification rates were highest during winter. On an annual basis, denitrification accounted for 26% of the dissolved inorganic nitrogen and 12% of the total nitrogen supplied to the system.

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