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Bioturbation Potential Of Chironomid Larvae For The Sediment-water Phosphorus Exchange In Simulated Pond Systems Of Varied Nutrient Enrichment.

J. Biswas, S. Rana, J. N. Bhakta, B. B. Jana
Published 2009 · Chemistry

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Abstract Chironomid larvae (2.0 individuals/cm 2 ) were introduced in sediment–water microcosms of 3.0 l capacity to assess the impact of bioturbation on phosphorus flux across sediment–water interface, under different nutrient-enriched conditions. Recruitment of chironomid resulted in 21% and 19% increase in aquatic orthophosphate and nitrate quanta, respectively, with concomitant decrease in nutrient concentration in the sediment compared to macrofauna-free controls under mesotrophic condition. It implied that cost of fertilizer for biological production could be curtailed by at least 19–21% by recovering nutrients stored in the sediment pool. Bioturbation-induced orthophosphate flux under chironomid impacted mesotrophic treatment was 2.3- and 1.8-fold greater than that under bioturbated eutrophic treatment, suggesting that the macrofaunal impact was reduced in the presence of higher nutrient load perhaps due to physicochemical stressors under eutrophic condition. Nevertheless, chironomid larvae can further accelerate nutrient enrichment in the eutrophic system that may invite a “snow ball effect” towards a hypereutrophic one. The counts of both heterotrophic and phosphate solubilizing bacteria show strong positive correlation with orthophosphate concentration in water and the correlation also exists between organic carbon concentration in sediment and phosphate in overlying water. This implied that the accelerated phosphate flux was the result of coordinated eco-engineering activities of chironomid larvae and microbe-mediated mineralization of organic matter.
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