Survey of sediment oxygenation in rhizospheres of the saltmarsh grass - Spartina anglica.

Antje.Boetius [ at ]


Although transport of oxygen via the aerenchyma tissue and subsequent oxygen loss across root surfaces is well-documented for salt marsh grasses, only few studies have measured the oxygenation of sediment surrounding roots and rhizomes. In this study, sediment oxygenation was assessed in situ in rhizospheres of the intertidal salt marsh grass, Spartina anglica - an invading species, vigorously spreading in many wetlands around the world. The rhizospheres of two populations of S. anglica with differing plant morphology growing in different sediment types were investigated in situ using a novel multifiber optode system with 100 oxygen probes. No oxygen was detected inside the rhizospheres at any depth in either location, indicating a limited impact of plant-mediated sediment oxygenation on the bulk anoxic sediment. Subsequent planar optode studies imaging the oxygen content around the roots substantiated these findings showing that sediment oxygenation was present in both locations, but it was confined only to the immediate vicinity of the root tips. The size of the oxic zones surrounding the root tips differed between sediment-types: in S. anglica growing in permeable sandy sediment, oxic root zones extended 1.5 mm away from the roots surface compared to only 0.4 mm in muddy tidal flat deposit, which had a substantially higher oxygen demand. The oxygen concentration inside the oxic root zones remained stable during continuous light and air-exposure of the aboveground biomass. In comparison, sediment oxygenation generated by burrowing infauna (Hediste diversicolor) showed to be markedly more temporally variability, reaching anoxic conditions multiple times during a 5-h period.

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DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.147

Cite as
Koop-Jakobsen, K. , Fischer, J. and Wenzhöfer, F. (2017): Survey of sediment oxygenation in rhizospheres of the saltmarsh grass - Spartina anglica. , Science of The Total Environment, 589 , pp. 191-199 . doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.147

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