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Article: Effects of hypoxia and organic enrichment on the coastal marine environment

TitleEffects of hypoxia and organic enrichment on the coastal marine environment
Authors
KeywordsAmmonia
Effects on fauna
Eutrophication
Hydrogen sulphide
Hypoxia
Issue Date2002
PublisherInter-Research. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.int-res.com/journals/meps/index.html
Citation
Marine Ecology Progress Series, 2002, v. 238, p. 249-279 How to Cite?
AbstractEutrophication is one of the most severe and widespread forms of disturbance affecting coastal marine systems. Whilst there are general models of effects on benthos, such as the Pearson-Rosenberg (P-R) model, the models are descriptive rather than predictive. Here we first review the process of increased organic matter production and the ensuing sedimentation to the seafloor. It is shown that there is no simple relationship between nutrient inputs and the vertical flux of particulate organic matter (POM). In particular, episodic hydrographic events are thought to be the key factor leading to high rates of sedimentation and accompanying hypoxia. We extend an earlier review of effects of hypoxia to include organisms living in the water column. In general, fishes are more sensitive to hypoxia than crustaceans and echinoderms, which in turn are more sensitive than annelids, whilst molluscs are the least sensitive. Growth is affected at oxygen concentrations between 6.0 and 4.5 mg O2 l-1, other aspects of metabolism are affected at between 4 and 2 mg O2 l-1 and mortality occurs where concentrations are below 2.0 to 0.5 mg O2 l-1. Field studies, however, show that complex behavioural changes also occur as hypoxia increases, and these are described herein. The areas where hypoxia occurs are frequently areas that are stagnant or with poor water exchange. Thus again, hydrographic factors are key processes determining whether or not hypoxia and eutrophication occur. Tolerance to ammonia and hydrogen sulphide is also reviewed, as these substances are found at near zero concentrations of oxygen and are highly toxic to most organisms. However, the effects of interactions between oxygen, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide only occur below oxygen concentrations of ca. 0.5 mg O2 l-1, since only below this concentration are hydrogen sulphide and oxygen released into the water. Models of eutrophication and the generation of hypoxia are discussed, and in particular the P-R model is analysed. Although agreement with the model is widely reported the actual predictions of the model have rarely been tested. Our review suggests that the major effects on benthic fauna result from hypoxia rather than organic enrichment per se and suggests that the P-R model is descriptive rather than predictive. Finally, a managerial tool is proposed, based on the stages of effects of hypoxia and organic enrichment suggested by the P-R model and on an earlier study. The proposed strategy involves rapid assessment tools and indicates where more detailed surveys are needed. Managers are advised that remedial action will not produce rapid results and that recovery from eutrophication will probably take decades. Thus it is essential to detect potential hypoxia and eutrophication effects at early stages of development.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/92725
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 2.361
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.554
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorGray, JSen_HK
dc.contributor.authorWu, RSSen_HK
dc.contributor.authorYing, YOen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-17T10:55:20Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-17T10:55:20Z-
dc.date.issued2002en_HK
dc.identifier.citationMarine Ecology Progress Series, 2002, v. 238, p. 249-279en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0171-8630en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/92725-
dc.description.abstractEutrophication is one of the most severe and widespread forms of disturbance affecting coastal marine systems. Whilst there are general models of effects on benthos, such as the Pearson-Rosenberg (P-R) model, the models are descriptive rather than predictive. Here we first review the process of increased organic matter production and the ensuing sedimentation to the seafloor. It is shown that there is no simple relationship between nutrient inputs and the vertical flux of particulate organic matter (POM). In particular, episodic hydrographic events are thought to be the key factor leading to high rates of sedimentation and accompanying hypoxia. We extend an earlier review of effects of hypoxia to include organisms living in the water column. In general, fishes are more sensitive to hypoxia than crustaceans and echinoderms, which in turn are more sensitive than annelids, whilst molluscs are the least sensitive. Growth is affected at oxygen concentrations between 6.0 and 4.5 mg O2 l-1, other aspects of metabolism are affected at between 4 and 2 mg O2 l-1 and mortality occurs where concentrations are below 2.0 to 0.5 mg O2 l-1. Field studies, however, show that complex behavioural changes also occur as hypoxia increases, and these are described herein. The areas where hypoxia occurs are frequently areas that are stagnant or with poor water exchange. Thus again, hydrographic factors are key processes determining whether or not hypoxia and eutrophication occur. Tolerance to ammonia and hydrogen sulphide is also reviewed, as these substances are found at near zero concentrations of oxygen and are highly toxic to most organisms. However, the effects of interactions between oxygen, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide only occur below oxygen concentrations of ca. 0.5 mg O2 l-1, since only below this concentration are hydrogen sulphide and oxygen released into the water. Models of eutrophication and the generation of hypoxia are discussed, and in particular the P-R model is analysed. Although agreement with the model is widely reported the actual predictions of the model have rarely been tested. Our review suggests that the major effects on benthic fauna result from hypoxia rather than organic enrichment per se and suggests that the P-R model is descriptive rather than predictive. Finally, a managerial tool is proposed, based on the stages of effects of hypoxia and organic enrichment suggested by the P-R model and on an earlier study. The proposed strategy involves rapid assessment tools and indicates where more detailed surveys are needed. Managers are advised that remedial action will not produce rapid results and that recovery from eutrophication will probably take decades. Thus it is essential to detect potential hypoxia and eutrophication effects at early stages of development.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherInter-Research. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.int-res.com/journals/meps/index.htmlen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofMarine Ecology Progress Seriesen_HK
dc.subjectAmmoniaen_HK
dc.subjectEffects on faunaen_HK
dc.subjectEutrophicationen_HK
dc.subjectHydrogen sulphideen_HK
dc.subjectHypoxiaen_HK
dc.titleEffects of hypoxia and organic enrichment on the coastal marine environmenten_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailWu, RSS: rudolfwu@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityWu, RSS=rp01398en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0037047769en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-0037047769&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume238en_HK
dc.identifier.spage249en_HK
dc.identifier.epage279en_HK
dc.publisher.placeGermanyen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridGray, JS=7404300468en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridWu, RSS=7402945079en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridYing, YO=8751243500en_HK

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