title Primary Productivity Temporal Fluctuations in a Nutrient-Rich Estuary due to Climate-Driven Events
authors Rodrigues, ET; Pardal, MA
author full name Rodrigues, Elsa T.; Pardal, Miguel A.
nationality internacional
language English
document type Article
author keywords I ZpB model; Long-term time series; Primary producers; Southern Europe; Temperate estuaries; Weather events
abstract In estuaries, climate and nutrients are the major drivers of primary productivity, since light availability, water movements, nutrient supplies, and physical stability determine the ability of primary producers to photosynthesize, grow, and survive. Therefore, in nutrient-rich estuaries, climate is expected to be the driving force of primary productivity. As global climate changes may increase the probability of some local ordinary weather events reaching extreme levels, it becomes pertinent to understand whether climate influences estuarine primary productivity patterns over the years. By means of long-term time series of phytoplankton, seagrass (Zostera noltii), and macroalgae (Gracilaria gracilis and Ulva spp.) production measurements, the influence of local weather events upon primary productivity was investigated in a temperate nutrient-rich estuary. The hypothesis proposed that estuarine primary productivity would show temporal fluctuations linked to climate-driven events and to the mitigation measures used to combat local anthropogenic pressures. Results revealed that, in the Mondego estuary, the most primary productivity is carried out by phytoplankton and that Z. noltii leaves and G. gracilis contribute equally to the daily productivity of the estuary, followed by Z. noltii belowground and finally by Ulva spp. Phytoplankton productivity seems to reach its highest rates in dry years, whereas a considerable decrease occurred during rainy periods. Regarding Z. noltii leaves, the highest productivity rates were attained in cold years. Moreover, the results do not support any relation between macroalgae productivity and climate events, but it would appear that the absence of local anthropogenic pressures increased its production rates. In what concerns primary productivity in temperate regions, small estuaries seem to have the ability to recover from singular intense weather events occurring over the years. Since recent climate change projections point out that drought periods are expected to increase and precipitation is expected to decrease, it was possible to infer that phytoplankton, in temperate estuaries, is likely to play an important role in the fixation of carbon dioxide acting as a sink of carbon, which, in turn, may increase coastal productivity. This knowledge could contribute to reduce uncertainty in future climate change projections and to enhance management strategies at a regional level, which have important environmental and socioeconomic repercussions.
author address [Rodrigues, Elsa T.; Pardal, Miguel A.] Univ Coimbra, Dept Life Sci, Ctr Funct Ecol, P-3001401 Coimbra, Portugal
reprint address Rodrigues, ET (reprint author), Univ Coimbra, Dept Life Sci, Ctr Funct Ecol, POB 3046, P-3001401 Coimbra, Portugal.
e-mail address etrodrig@zoo.uc.pt; mpardal@zoo.uc.pt
researcherid number Rodrigues, Elsa/J-1529-2012; Pardal, Miguel Angelo/C-3984-2009
orcid number Rodrigues, Elsa/0000-0002-9541-7890; Pardal, Miguel Angelo/0000-0001-6048-7007
funding agency and grant number Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology - Programa Operacional Potencial Humano of QREN Portugal [SFRH/BD/80321/2011]; Portuguese budget through the Ministry of Education and Science
funding text Thanks are due to all who helped during field and laboratory work, providing the long-term time series used. The Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology supported this work through a Ph.D grant attributed to Elsa T. Rodrigues (SFRH/BD/80321/2011), funded by Programa Operacional Potencial Humano of QREN Portugal 2007-2013 (typology 4.1) and by the Portuguese budget through the Ministry of Education and Science.
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cited reference count 52
publisher SPRINGER
publisher city NEW YORK
publisher address 233 SPRING ST, NEW YORK, NY 10013 USA
issn 1559-2723
29-character source abbreviation ESTUAR COAST
iso source abbreviation Estuaries Coasts
publication date JAN
year published 2015
volume 38
issue 1
beginning page 1
ending page 12
digital object identifier (doi) 10.1007/s12237-014-9813-6
page count 12
web of science category Environmental Sciences; Marine & Freshwater Biology
subject category Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Marine & Freshwater Biology
document delivery number AY6MM
unique article identifier WOS:000347680300001
CFE authors
Elsa Teresa Rodrigues
Miguel Pardal