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Salt Marshes’ Meaning on Nitrogen Remediation pp. 405-422 $100.00
Authors:  (Ana I. Sousa, Ana I. Lillebø, Nils Risgaard-Petersen, Miguel A. Pardal, Isabel Caçador, CO − Centre of Oceanography, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Campo Grande, Lisbon, Portugal, and others)
Abstract:
Nitrogen is ubiquitous in the environment, being present in the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and biota. The fast increase in human population and human activities over the course of the 20th century has lead to an increase in the loading of land-derived nitrogen, from diffuse sources with anthropogenic origin, to coastal areas, namely transitional waters. Thus, estuaries are subdue to large discharges of this nutrient, which has different consequences, namely eutrophication. Salt marshes have important ecological functions as bio-stabilizers, i.e. decreasing tidal currents and wave action and enhancing settling of suspended matter. Halophytes sustain an elevate productivity and provide habitats. Moreover, nitrogen incorporation in salt marsh plants‘ biomass (N fixation/primary production) gives them the ability to auto-remediate estuarine systems. The availability of the excess of nitrogen, due to eutrophication, to different biological processes is determined by its conversion in different chemical forms through biological and physico-chemical processes. These can be incorporation of inorganic forms (NO3-, NH4+) and transformation into organic forms (e.g. aminoacids, proteins), biomass mineralization, nitrification and denitrification (NO3- conversion to N2 gas), which return the reactive nitrogen to its main reservoir, the atmosphere. 


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Salt Marshes’ Meaning on Nitrogen Remediation pp. 405-422