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Sedimentary phosphorus cycling and budget in the seasonally hypoxic coastal area of Changjiang Estuary

Liu, Jun, Krom, Michael D., Ran, Xiangbin, Zang, Jiaye, Liu, Jihua, Yao, Qingzhen, Yu, Zhigang
The Science of the total environment 2020 v.713 pp. 136389
anthropogenic activities, apatite, coasts, dissolved oxygen, estuaries, eutrophication, hypoxia, kinetics, orthophosphates, oxygen, phosphorus, river plume, rivers, sediments, Yangtze River
Anthropogenic activities have greatly accelerated phosphorus (P) inputs from land to coastal seas. The increased P inputs from major rivers can cause adjacent coastal areas to experience seasonal hypoxia with the enhancing coastal eutrophication, which can subsequently increase P cycling and alter long term preservation. Analysis of sediment core measurements including SEDEX P speciation coupled with diagenetic kinetic models were performed on two cores in the coastal area under the Changjiang river plume, that experiences seasonal hypoxia. It was found that the benthic flux of dissolved reactive phosphate (DRP) in the Changjiang Estuary (CJE) was higher than that of adjacent areas of the Chinese coastal shelf. Sedimentary phosphorus transformations of Fe-bound P and organic P resulted in the in-situ formation of authigenic P (probably apatite), which was the major form of reactive P buried in the sediment. P burial efficiency (PBE) was lower than that of the oxic Chinese shelf but higher than that of other seasonally hypoxic areas in the world away from major river inputs. An exponential relationship between PBE and bottom water dissolved oxygen was developed, which suggested a positive feedback mechanism of increased hypoxia increasing P recycling, and hence intensifying eutrophication. The relatively high input of sediment including detrital P from the adjacent major river can explain many of the observed differences in P cycling from other seasonally hypoxic areas.