Methods for monitoring tidal flushing in large animal burrows in tropical mangrove swamps

Hollins, Suzanne E., Heron, Scott F., and Ridd, Peter V. (2009) Methods for monitoring tidal flushing in large animal burrows in tropical mangrove swamps. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 82 (4). pp. 615-620.

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The typically anaerobic nature of mangrove sediments provides significant challenges to the mangrove trees and biota inhabiting them. The burrowing activities and flow of water through the numerous and complex animal burrows perforating the sediments of mangroves have a major influence on the biogeochemistry of the sediments and are important to the enhancement of nutrient and oxygen exchange. Two new methods are presented for monitoring the tidal flushing of Sesarma messa and Alpheus cf macklay burrows in a Rhizophora stylosa mangrove forest – by measuring oxygen content of burrow water and by determining the change in fluorescence of a dye tracer through tidal inundation. A case study using the first of these showed oxygen consumption rates at the burrow wall deep within the burrow were found to be between 210 and 460 mmol O2m2 h1. The influx of oxygen during a flood tide was found to be significant and indicated that approximately 40% of the burrow water is flushed during a single tidal event. However, the high consumption rate of oxygen within the burrow resulted in the oxygen concentration remaining at or below one-third of the oxygen content of the flooding tidal water. A test application of the second method, using rhodamine dye as a tracer, indicated that the exchange of water between the burrow and the flooding tide was found to be in the order of 30% of the burrow volume. These new techniques provide a means to further study the nutrient exchange within these burrow systems and verify the initial findings that several tidal inundations are necessary to completely flush the burrows.

Item ID: 9565
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1096-0015
Keywords: oxygen consumption; mangrove swamps; burrows; tidal flushing; Australia; Queensland
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2010 23:36
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961102 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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