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Denitrification responses to increasing cadmium exposure in Baltic Sea sediments
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9005-5168
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4366-0677
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
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2019 (English)In: Aquatic Toxicology, ISSN 0166-445X, E-ISSN 1879-1514, Vol. 217, article id 105328Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Benthic ecosystems have come under intense pressure, due to eutrophication-driven oxygen decline and industrial metal contamination. One of the most toxic metals is Cadmium (Cd), which is lethal to many aquatic organisms already at low concentrations. Denitrification by facultative anaerobic microorganisms is an essential process to transform, but also to remove, excess nitrate in eutrophied systems. Cd has been shown to decrease denitrification and sequester free sulfide, which is available when oxygen is scarce and generally inhibits complete denitrification (i.e. N2O to N2). In polluted sediments, an interaction between oxygen and Cd may influence denitrification and this relationship has not been studied. For example, in the Baltic Sea some sediments are double exposed to both Cd and hypoxia. In this study, we examined how the double exposure of Cd and fluctuations in oxygen affects denitrification in Baltic Sea sediment. Results show that oxygen largely regulated N2O and N2 production after 21 days of exposure to Cd (ranging from 0 to 500 μg/L, 5 different treatments, measured by the isotope pairing technique (IPT)). In the high Cd treatment (500 μg/L) the variation in N2 production increased compared to the other treatments. Increases in N2 production are suggested to be an effect of 1) enhanced nitrification that increases NO3− availability thus stimulating denitrification, and 2) Cd successfully sequestrating sulfide (yielding CdS), which allows for full denitrification to N2. The in situ field sediment contained initially high Cd concentrations in the pore water (∼10 μg/L) and microbial communities might already have been adapted to metal stress, making the effect of low Cd levels negligible. Here we show that high levels of cadmium pollution might increase N2 production and influence nitrogen cycling in marine sediments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 217, article id 105328
Keywords [en]
Sediment, Benthos, Denitrification, Hypoxia, Oxygen, Baltic Sea, Pollution
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175207DOI: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2019.105328OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175207DiVA, id: diva2:1361373
Available from: 2019-10-16 Created: 2019-10-16 Last updated: 2019-11-11Bibliographically approved

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Broman, EliasBonaglia, StefanoLandberg, TommyNascimento, Francisco J. A.Sjöling, Sara
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Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant SciencesStockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
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