Hydrology and ecosystem metabolism (objective 1)

Menció et al. (2017) – Journal of Hydrology, 552: 793-806.

We describe the hydrological regime of a confined coastal ecosystem (La Pletera salt marshes), highlighting the importance of groundwater circulation. During the dry season groundwater inputs may account for 15–80% of the water budget. Water salinity depends on two main processes: 1) mixing of fresh and sea water occurring within the lagoons or in the aquifer; and 2) evaporation.

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Casamitjana et al. (2019) – Journal of Hydrology, 575:1178-1187.

We evaluated water inflows and outflows and evaporation fluxes in La Pletera salt marsh lagoons by means a General Lake Model (GLM), mainly on dry periods, when the lagoon inflow is low and evaporation is high. Water circulation determines the resultant salinity in these lagoons and salinity conditions are essential for the protection of the Iberian toothcarp (Aphanius iberus), a species adapted to high salinity fluctuations but strongly affected by competition from the invasive Eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)

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Bas-Silvestre et al. (work in progress).

We analyse how water circulation affects metabolic rates in confined coastal lagoons. We model water circulation and turnover (including groundwater inputs, outputs, rainfall and evaporation) using the General Lake Model described at Casamitjana et al. (2019).

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Boadella et al. (2021) – Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 17434.

This study compares the microbial heterotrophic functioning in three “new” lagoons (created in 2016) to that in three “old” lagoons (two natural plus one created in 2002) from the Mediterranean coastal marsh of La Pletera. We analyse the activity of a range of microbial extracellular enzymes, the functional diversity, and the dissolved organic matter (DOM) quality, together with microbial biomass and water physic-chemistry. We found lowest microbial activities in winter, when DOM was highly aromàtic, after storm events and an increase in organic matter degradation capabilities from winter to summer. Old lagoons showed a greater utilization of proteinaceous and polysaccharidic compounds than new lagoons. Results indicate that microbial functional parameters related to organic matter use are a relevant and sensitive tool to study lagoon restoration processes, reflecting whole ecosystem nutrient and carbon cycling.

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