Seasonality in nutrient concentrations in Galveston Bay




Santschi PH

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In order to investigate factors controlling nutrient cycling in the shallow and turbid coastal ecosystem of Galveston Bay, data from: (1) the Texas Water Commission (TWC) database 1980-1989, and (2) salinity transects in 1989 and 1993 are presented and analyzed. Statistical regression and time-series analysis were carried out on data acquired by TWC between 1980 and 1989, in an attempt to establish seasonality of nutrient and chlorophyll-a (chl.-a) concentrations in the bay and to determine factors which regulate these concentrations. A strong seasonality was found for phosphorus and chl. -a in the upper and mid-bay stations. A recurring maximum for phosphate occurred in September and a chl.-a maximum occurred regularly in March-April. It is hypothesized that benthic regeneration of phosphorus at the end of summer is responsible for the phosphate maximum. The inverse correlation of the partition coefficient (K-d) for phosphate with the concentration of suspended particulate matter (SPM), coupled to a strong enrichment of phosphate in suspended particles at low SPM concentrations, indicates additional control by geochemical and physical processes such as particle sorting and/or particle=colloid interactions. Nitrate is inversely correlated with salinity at the upper and mid-bay stations, indicating the Trinity River is a major source. Nutrient concentrations in the lower bay (East and West Bay stations) are considerably lower and less predictable, as they are not correlated with salinity or temperature. Data from the 1989 and 1993 transects confirm the yearly maximum in phosphate concentration in late summer months, with peak concentrations in the upper Trinity Bay. It is concluded that despite possible phosphate buffering by physical and geochemical mechanisms, relatively large concentration maxima recur regularly every year during the summer, possibly caused by a benthic source of phosphate




algae [Algae];Algae: Algae,Microorganisms,Nonvascular Plants,Plants;Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics; Climatology: Environmental Sciences; Marine Ecology: Ecology,Environmental Sciences; Nutrition;CHLOROPHYLL A; COASTAL ECOSYSTEM; PHOSPHORUS;PHOSPHORUS: 7723-14-0; CHLOROPHYLL A: 479-61-8;[07504] Ecology: environmental biology - Bioclimatology and biometeorology;[07512] Ecology: environmental biology - Oceanography;[10065] Biochemistry studies - Porphyrins and bile pigments;[10069] Biochemistry studies - Minerals;[13000] Algae;[13000] Algae,Plantae;[13202] Nutrition - General studies,nutritional status and methods;[13206] Nutrition - Minerals;