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Free Content Uptake and Regeneration of Nitrogen in Controlled Aquatic Ecosystems and the Effects of Copper on these Processes

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Uptake and regeneralion of nitrogen, and the effects of low concentrations of copper on these processes, were investigated in large volumes (60 m3) of nearshore marine water enclosed in Controlled Experimental Ecosystems (CEE). 15N-labeled ammonium or nitrate was introduced into CEEs and changes in concentrations and 15N content of ammonium, nitrate and particulate nitrogen were monitored for 7 to 10 days. Rates of ammonium regeneration at 1 m ranged from 59 to 118% of the ammonium uptake by living organisms, and they equalled about half of the loss of particulate nitrogen. Ammonium uptake for the first 48 h after exposure to ca 7 ppb copper was reduced by ca 50%. After this initial depression uptake recovered to near control (no copper) values. A similar trend was observed for nitrate uptake and 14C productivity. In copper-treated CEEs, the amount of particulate nitrogen settling through the water column was substantially less than that in the controls. This was attributed to a decline in zooplankton grazing in the presence of copper. The effect of copper on ammonium regeneration was less intensive than it was on ammonium uptake.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1980

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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