Natural versus man-made mediterranean coastal lagoons: Distinct microbial functioning depending on season

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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