Hydrocarbon influence on denitrification in bioturbated Mediterranean coastal sediments

Abstract : An in situ experiment has been carried out inbioturbated Mediterranean coastal marine sediments (Gulfof Fos) in order to study the influence of hydrocarbons ondenitrification after 1, 4 and 6 months. In theabsence of hydrocarbons in the control sediments, the presenceof macrofauna stimulated denitrificationby 160%. This stimulation is induced by sediment reworkingthat favours both direct NO-3 supply fromthe water column and the penetration of O{2}, which in turnstimulated nitrification, the other source ofNO-3 in sediment. The presence of hydrocarbons in theexperimental sediments either stimulated orinhibited the denitrification. The denitrification response tothe presence of hydrocarbon is dependent onthe quantity of matter buried by the macrofauna activity. Insmall quantities, the organic matter relatedto hydrocarbons 120% enhanced the denitrification compared tothe controls. On the other hand, whenburied hydrocarbon concentrations were higher (>100 mgsaturated hydrocarbon fraction kg-1 drysediment), the denitrification was inhibited.On the basis of the results obtained, a descriptive model ofthe patterns of denitrification in relation to the presence ofmacrofauna and the distribution of hydrocarbons in sediments is proposed.
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Franck Gilbert, Georges Stora, Patricia Bonin, Yveline Ledréau, Gilbert Mille, et al.. Hydrocarbon influence on denitrification in bioturbated Mediterranean coastal sediments. Hydrobiologia, Springer, 1997, vol. 345, pp. 67-77. ⟨10.1023/A:1002931432250⟩. ⟨hal-00823238⟩

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