Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Direct denitrification in mangrove sediments in Terminos Lagoon, Mexico

December 31, 1995

Rates of direct denitrification were measured using 15N isotope tchniques in intact sediment cores from fringe and basin mangroves in Terminos Lagoon, Mexico. Sediments were injected with 15NO3- and the distribution of 15N was measured over time in the head space, overlying water, and sediments. Experiments included an investigation of spatial variation in denitrification rates by comparing results from the fringe and basin mangroves in the rainy season (July 1991); a second experiment was to determine the effect of 3 different NO3- concentrations (25, 100, 200 umol core-115N-KNO3-) on denitrification rates and was performed in the fringe mangrove during the 'Norte' season (January 1992). Highest 15N-N2 fluxes were measured in the fringe mangrove at 9.4 umol m-2 h-1, while denitrification rates in the basin mangrove ranged from 1.9 to 4.5 umol m-2 h-115N-N2 fluxes in sediment cores from the fringe mangrove were significantly higher (4.5 to 7.7 umol m-2 h-1) in cores enriched with 200 umol core-115N-KNO3- compared to cores enriched with 25 and 100 umol core-115N-KNO3- (<1 umol m-2 h-1). Most of the applied 15N was recovered as particulate nitrogen in the sediment and a small fraction reduced to NH4+ in both experiments. The low denitrification rates observed in the fringe and basin mangroves indicate that the capacity for sediment denitrification is limited by low NO3- availability. Previous nutrient exchange studies concluded that the fringe mangrove was a 'sink' of NO3-since sediment uptake of NO3- was assumed lost through denitrification. Results from this study show <10% of sediment NO3- uptake in fringe mangroves may be lost to denitrification; the remainder being immobilized in the sediment.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1995
Title Direct denitrification in mangrove sediments in Terminos Lagoon, Mexico
DOI 10.3354/meps126097
Authors V. H. Rivera-Monroy, Robert Twilley, Ronald G. Boustany, John W. Day, F. Vera-Herrera, Maria del Carmen-Ramirez
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Marine Ecology Progress Series
Index ID 70204240
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wetlands Research Center; Wetland and Aquatic Research Center