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A welcome can of worms? Hypoxia mitigation by an invasive species

Norkko, Joanna; Reed, Daniel C.; Timmermann, Karen; Norkko, Alf; Gustafsson, Bo G.; Bonsdorff, Erik; Slomp, Caroline P.; Carstensen, Jacob and Conley, Daniel LU (2012) In Global Change Biology 18(2). p.422-434
Abstract
Invasive species and bottom-water hypoxia both constitute major global threats to the diversity and integrity of marine ecosystems. These stressors may interact with unexpected consequences, as invasive species that require an initial environmental disturbance to become established can subsequently become important drivers of ecological change. There is recent evidence that improved bottom-water oxygen conditions in coastal areas of the northern Baltic Sea coincide with increased abundances of the invasive polychaetes Marenzelleria spp. Using a reactive-transport model, we demonstrate that the long-term bioirrigation activities of dense Marenzelleria populations have a major impact on sedimentary phosphorus dynamics. This may facilitate... (More)
Invasive species and bottom-water hypoxia both constitute major global threats to the diversity and integrity of marine ecosystems. These stressors may interact with unexpected consequences, as invasive species that require an initial environmental disturbance to become established can subsequently become important drivers of ecological change. There is recent evidence that improved bottom-water oxygen conditions in coastal areas of the northern Baltic Sea coincide with increased abundances of the invasive polychaetes Marenzelleria spp. Using a reactive-transport model, we demonstrate that the long-term bioirrigation activities of dense Marenzelleria populations have a major impact on sedimentary phosphorus dynamics. This may facilitate the switch from a seasonally hypoxic system back to a normoxic system by reducing the potential for sediment-induced eutrophication in the upper water column. In contrast to short-term laboratory experiments, our simulations, which cover a 10-year period, show that Marenzelleria has the potential to enhance long-term phosphorus retention in muddy sediments. Over time bioirrigation leads to a substantial increase in the iron-bound phosphorus content of sediments while reducing the concentration of labile organic carbon. As surface sediments are maintained oxic, iron oxyhydroxides are able to persist and age into more refractory forms. The model illustrates mechanisms through which Marenzelleria can act as a driver of ecological change, although hypoxic disturbance or natural population declines in native species may be needed for them to initially become established. Invasive species are generally considered to have a negative impact; however, we show here that one of the main recent invaders in the Baltic Sea may provide important ecosystem services. This may be of particular importance in low-diversity systems, where disturbances may dramatically alter ecosystem services due to low functional redundancy. Thus, an environmental problem in one region may be either exacerbated or alleviated by a single species from another region, with potentially ecosystem-wide consequences. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
hypoxia, invasive species, multiple stressors, reactive-transport model, remediation, sediment phosphorus dynamics
in
Global Change Biology
volume
18
issue
2
pages
422 - 434
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000299042500003
  • scopus:84855834303
ISSN
1354-1013
DOI
10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02513.x
project
BECC
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3152f65e-9e56-45c7-8a19-672dc98f9bf1 (old id 2348823)
date added to LUP
2012-02-24 09:57:46
date last changed
2017-11-05 03:05:45
@article{3152f65e-9e56-45c7-8a19-672dc98f9bf1,
  abstract     = {Invasive species and bottom-water hypoxia both constitute major global threats to the diversity and integrity of marine ecosystems. These stressors may interact with unexpected consequences, as invasive species that require an initial environmental disturbance to become established can subsequently become important drivers of ecological change. There is recent evidence that improved bottom-water oxygen conditions in coastal areas of the northern Baltic Sea coincide with increased abundances of the invasive polychaetes Marenzelleria spp. Using a reactive-transport model, we demonstrate that the long-term bioirrigation activities of dense Marenzelleria populations have a major impact on sedimentary phosphorus dynamics. This may facilitate the switch from a seasonally hypoxic system back to a normoxic system by reducing the potential for sediment-induced eutrophication in the upper water column. In contrast to short-term laboratory experiments, our simulations, which cover a 10-year period, show that Marenzelleria has the potential to enhance long-term phosphorus retention in muddy sediments. Over time bioirrigation leads to a substantial increase in the iron-bound phosphorus content of sediments while reducing the concentration of labile organic carbon. As surface sediments are maintained oxic, iron oxyhydroxides are able to persist and age into more refractory forms. The model illustrates mechanisms through which Marenzelleria can act as a driver of ecological change, although hypoxic disturbance or natural population declines in native species may be needed for them to initially become established. Invasive species are generally considered to have a negative impact; however, we show here that one of the main recent invaders in the Baltic Sea may provide important ecosystem services. This may be of particular importance in low-diversity systems, where disturbances may dramatically alter ecosystem services due to low functional redundancy. Thus, an environmental problem in one region may be either exacerbated or alleviated by a single species from another region, with potentially ecosystem-wide consequences.},
  author       = {Norkko, Joanna and Reed, Daniel C. and Timmermann, Karen and Norkko, Alf and Gustafsson, Bo G. and Bonsdorff, Erik and Slomp, Caroline P. and Carstensen, Jacob and Conley, Daniel},
  issn         = {1354-1013},
  keyword      = {hypoxia,invasive species,multiple stressors,reactive-transport model,remediation,sediment phosphorus dynamics},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {422--434},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Global Change Biology},
  title        = {A welcome can of worms? Hypoxia mitigation by an invasive species},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02513.x},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2012},
}