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1 October 2017 Phosphorus Dynamics in the Water Column and Sediments of Barnegat Bay, New Jersey
Bhanu Paudel, Nathaniel Weston, John O'Connor, Lori Sutter, David Velinsky
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Abstract

Paudel, B.; Weston, N.; O'Connor, J.; Sutter, L., and Velinsky, D., 2017. Phosphorus dynamics in the water column and sediments of Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. In: Buchanan, G.A.; Belton, T.J., and Paudel, B. (eds.), A Comprehensive Assessment of Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey.

Phosphorus (P) loadings are higher in northern Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, relative to southern Bay, whereas ambient dissolved P is higher in the southern part of the Bay. This study investigated the mechanism for higher water-column P in the southern part of the Bay relative to the northern Bay. The authors hypothesized that sediments may be the source of P to the water column in the southern Bay. Water-column samples and sediment cores were collected from 20 stations along the N-S gradient of the Bay on three dates (spring, summer, and fall) in 2014–15. Benthic sediment P flux experiments were conducted under oxic and anoxic conditions. Phosphorus was sequentially extracted from sediments into five operationally defined fractions: loosely sorbed P, iron bound P, inorganic bound P, calcium bound P, and organic bound P. The results confirmed that soluble reactive P (SRP) was higher in the southern Bay (29 to 53 μgP/L) compared to the northern Bay (below detection to 21.2 μgP/L). Iron and inorganic bound P were the highest fractions of sediment P. Sediment total P was higher in the southern Bay stations. Benthic flux measurements indicated that sedimentary release of SRP was negligible, and no N-S gradient of P release occurred. Rather than a source of SRP to the water, the sediments were identified as a sink for P in the southern stations. The higher chlorophyll-a in the northern vs. southern Bay and lower concentration of SRP and NO2 3 in the northern vs. southern Bay indicate that hydrodynamics and water-column primary productivity, rather than sediment P dynamics, are the major drivers of the observed patterns of water-column nutrients in Barnegat Bay.

©Coastal Education and Research Foundation, Inc. 2017
Bhanu Paudel, Nathaniel Weston, John O'Connor, Lori Sutter, and David Velinsky "Phosphorus Dynamics in the Water Column and Sediments of Barnegat Bay, New Jersey," Journal of Coastal Research 78(sp1), 60-69, (1 October 2017). https://doi.org/10.2112/SI78-006.1
Received: 8 December 2016; Accepted: 7 July 2017; Published: 1 October 2017
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