Denitrification In Aquatic Sediments

  • Sybil P. Seitzinger
Part of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies Symposium Series book series (FEMS, volume 56)


Nutrients (N and P) are important in controlling primary production in aquatic ecosystems. The availability of N or P within an ecosystem is partly a function of the rates of external inputs to the system and permanent removal within the system by biological, chemical and/or physical processes. N is a limiting nutrient in many estuaries, coastal and continental shelf marine systems (Ryther and Dunstan, 1971), some lakes (Keeney, 1973; Gerhart and Likens, 1975), and some streams and rivers (Grimm and Fisher, 1986). Denitrification in the sediments or anoxic water removes N from aquatic systems as the gaseous nitrogen produced diffuses into the atmosphere. Denitrification in aquatic systems, therefore, decreases the amount of nitrogen available for primary production, as well as decreases the transport of N to downstream or offshore waters. In aquatic systems that receive N from pollution sources, the removal of a portion of that N via denitrification may help control the degree of eutrophication of the system.


Nitrous Oxide Marine Sediment Overlie Water Denitrification Rate Submerged Aquatic Vegetation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sybil P. Seitzinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Academy of Natural SciencesDivision of Environmental ResearchPhiladelphiaUSA

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