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Free Content Stoichiometry of C, N, P, and Si fluxes in a temperate-climate embayment

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Dissolved C, N, P, and Si budgets for Tomales Bay, California, have been used to solve simultaneous stoichiometric equations which describe a plausible material balance for net organic matter reactions in the bay. Dissolved Si and P were both exported hydrographically. Dissolved C and fixed N were imported hydrographically. If we assume that C, N, P, and Si were supplied to the bay as organic detritus and remineralized at a rate required to balance dissolved Si and P exports, we can calculate reasonable rates of denitrification and CO2 gas evasion across the air-water interface. The system is thus interpreted to have been net heterotrophic at the time of our investigation.

Fluxes attributed to individual components in the system (benthic respiration, water-column material turnover, biochemical transformations between fixed and gaseous N) were of sufficient magnitude to account for the system-wide net fluxes, although too noisy to allow piecewise derivation of net system fluxes.

Denitrification and limitation of primary production by dissolved fixed N in aquatic ecosystems may be symptoms of other system-scale constraints on net C metabolism, rather than themselves being system-level controls of net C metabolism.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 1987

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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