Marine Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 285–295 | Cite as

Nutrient cycling between the water column and a marine sediment. I. Organic carbon

  • E. O. Hartwig


The carbon flow through the sediments at a station located in 18.3 m of water off the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, California (USA) was determined. The parameters studied [and their mean rates of input (+) or output (-) to the benthos] were macro-detritus (+0.028 gC m-2day-1), fallout of particulate debris (+3.3 gC m-2day-1), benthic net photosynthesis during the day (-0.06 gC m-2 daylight period-1), burial (0 gC m-2day-1), benthic respiration at night (-0.28 gC m-2 night period-1), and resuspension (-3.0 gC m-2day-1). Resuspension of sediment at this station was found to have a controlling effect on the sediment organic carbon content. Benthic photosynthesis was able to provide 79% of the organic carbon required by the benthos for respiration during the daylight hours. A carbon-flow diagram linking together all of the above measurements is presented.


Respiration Organic Carbon Water Column Photosynthesis Burial 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. O. Hartwig
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Marine ResourcesUniversity of CaliforniaLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Chesapeake Bay InstituteThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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