2-D optical quantification of particle reworking activities in marine surface sediments

Abstract : Particle and solute transport by faunal activities may significantly influence rates and pathways of organic matter mineralization during early diagenesis in surface sediments. One of the most frequently utilized techniques to quantify benthic biological reworking activities involves the calculation of a biodiffusion coefficient (Db) estimated from model predictions of 1-D tracer distribution patterns. This technique is labor-intensive and time-demanding. Furthermore, it is normally used for measurements over several days and averages overall transport mechanisms from 3-D to 1-D on a cm scale. In the frame of this work, we developed a new technique based on the nondestructive screening of fluorescent particles (luminophores) using optical discrimination and CCD camera detection of fluorescence (2-D). At a site characterized by a dense population of the brittle star Amphiura filiformis and a high biodiffusion coefficient (obtained from 1-D distributions; Db=35.5±3.7 cm−2 year−1; n=3), the optical reworking coefficient (ORC), estimated from the 2-D luminophore distribution patterns, was calculated (ORC=27.4±9.1 View the MathML source cm−2 h−1; n=24). A nondestructive 2-D approach to quantify particle reworking may provide a powerful and complementary tool to further understand particle transport by the benthic fauna in surface sediments. The optical technique for 2-D detection of luminophores is relatively fast and easy to perform, with the ability to detect small scale (mm) particle movements on a time resolution of minutes or less.
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Franck Gilbert, Stefan Hulth, Niklas Strömberg, Katja Ringdahl, Jean-Christophe Poggiale. 2-D optical quantification of particle reworking activities in marine surface sediments. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Elsevier, 2003, vol. 285-286, pp. 251-263. ⟨10.1016/S0022-0981(02)00531-2⟩. ⟨hal-00761763⟩

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