Functional and Compositional Responses of Periphyton Mats to Simulated Saltwater Intrusion in the Southern Everglades

Functional and Compositional Responses of Periphyton Mats to Simulated Saltwater Intrusion in the... Periphyton plays key ecological roles in karstic, freshwater wetlands and is extremely sensitive to environmental change making it a powerful tool to detect saltwater intrusion into these vulnerable and valuable ecosystems. We conducted field mesocosm experiments in the Florida Everglades, USA to test the effects of saltwater intrusion on periphyton metabolism, nutrient content, and diatom species composition, and how these responses differ between mats from a freshwater versus a brackish marsh. Pulsed saltwater intrusion was simulated by dosing treatment chambers monthly with a brine solution for 15 months; control chambers were simultaneously dosed with site water. Periphyton from the freshwater marsh responded to a 1-ppt increase in surface water salinity with reduced productivity and decreased concentrations of total carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. These functional responses were accompanied by significant shifts in periphytic diatom assemblages. Periphyton mats at the brackish marsh were more functionally resilient to the saltwater treatment (~ 2 ppt above ambient), but nonetheless experienced significant shifts in diatom composition. These findings suggest that freshwater periphyton is negatively affected by small, short-term increases in salinity and that periphytic diatom assemblages, particularly at the brackish marsh, are a better metric of salinity increases compared with periphyton functional metrics due http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Estuaries and Coasts Springer Journals

Functional and Compositional Responses of Periphyton Mats to Simulated Saltwater Intrusion in the Southern Everglades

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation
Subject
Environment; Environment, general; Ecology; Freshwater & Marine Ecology; Environmental Management; Coastal Sciences; Water and Health
ISSN
1559-2723
eISSN
1559-2731
D.O.I.
10.1007/s12237-018-0415-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Periphyton plays key ecological roles in karstic, freshwater wetlands and is extremely sensitive to environmental change making it a powerful tool to detect saltwater intrusion into these vulnerable and valuable ecosystems. We conducted field mesocosm experiments in the Florida Everglades, USA to test the effects of saltwater intrusion on periphyton metabolism, nutrient content, and diatom species composition, and how these responses differ between mats from a freshwater versus a brackish marsh. Pulsed saltwater intrusion was simulated by dosing treatment chambers monthly with a brine solution for 15 months; control chambers were simultaneously dosed with site water. Periphyton from the freshwater marsh responded to a 1-ppt increase in surface water salinity with reduced productivity and decreased concentrations of total carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. These functional responses were accompanied by significant shifts in periphytic diatom assemblages. Periphyton mats at the brackish marsh were more functionally resilient to the saltwater treatment (~ 2 ppt above ambient), but nonetheless experienced significant shifts in diatom composition. These findings suggest that freshwater periphyton is negatively affected by small, short-term increases in salinity and that periphytic diatom assemblages, particularly at the brackish marsh, are a better metric of salinity increases compared with periphyton functional metrics due

Journal

Estuaries and CoastsSpringer Journals

Published: May 30, 2018

References

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