Potential nitrous oxide production by marine shellfish in response to warming and nutrient enrichment

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Bivalves facilitate microbial nitrogen cycling, which can produce nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas. Potential N2O production by three marine bivalves (Mytilus edulis, Mercenaria mercenaria and Crassostrea virginica) was measured in the laboratory including responses to nitrogen (N) loading and/or warming over short-terms (up to 14 or 28 days). N additions (targeting 100 μM-N ammonium nitrate) or warming (22 °C) individually and in combination were applied with experimental controls (20 μM-N, 19 °C). N2O production rates were higher with N additions for all species, but warming lacked significant direct effects. Ammonium and nitrate concentrations varied but were consistent with nitrification as a potential N2O source for all bivalves. Highest N2O emissions (7.5 nmol N2O g−1 h−1) were from M. edulis under hypoxic conditions coincident with a drop in pH. Macro-epifauna on M. edulis did not significantly alter N2O production. Thus, under short-term hypoxic conditions, micro-organisms in M. edulis guts may be a particularly significant source of N2O.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Marine Pollution Bulletin