Natural and anthropogenic nitrogen uptake by bloom-forming macroalgae
Date of Original Version
The frequency and duration of macroalgal blooms have increased in many coastal waters over the past several decades. We used field surveys and laboratory culturing experiments to examine the nitrogen content and δ 15N values of Ulva and Gracilaria, two bloom-forming algal genera in Narragansett Bay, RI (USA). The northern end of this bay is densely populated with large sewage treatment plant nitrogen inputs; the southern end is more lightly populated and opens to the Atlantic Ocean. Field-collected Ulva varied in δ 15N among sites, but with two exceptions had δ 15N above 10‰, reflecting a significant component of heavy anthropogenic N. This variation was not correlated with a north-south gradient. Both Ulva and Gracilaria cultured in water from across Narragansett Bay also had high signals (δ 15N = ∼14-17‰ and 8-12‰, respectively). These results indicate that inputs of anthropogenic N can have far-reaching impacts throughout estuaries. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
Marine Pollution Bulletin
Thornber, Carol S., Peter DiMilla, Scott W. Nixon, and Richard A. McKinney. "Natural and anthropogenic nitrogen uptake by bloom-forming macroalgae." Marine Pollution Bulletin 56, 2 (2008). doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2007.10.031.