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Water 2019, 11(3), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030465

Contrasting Effects of an Alien Worm on Benthic N Cycling in Muddy and Sandy Sediments

1
Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
2
Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy
3
Marine Science and Technology Center, Klaipeda University, 92294 Klaipeda, Lithuania
4
EA 4592 Géoressources et Environnement, ENSEGID, 33607 Pessac, France
5
UR EABX, Centre de Bordeaux, Irstea, 33612 Cestas, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 24 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Macrobiota in Aquatic Nutrient Cycling)
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Abstract

The North American oligochaete Sparganophilus tamesis is widespread in European freshwaters. Its ecological effects on benthic nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry were studied in two contrasting environments: the organic-rich muddy sediments of the eutrophic Mincio River (Italy) and the organic-poor sandy sediments of the oligotrophic Cazaux-Sanguinet Lake (France). Oxygen and inorganic N fluxes and denitrification rates (IPT) were measured by dark incubation of intact cores with different worm biomass. Sediment oxygen demand and denitrification were higher in muddy than in sandy sediments; however, at the two sites, bioturbation by the oligochaetes stimulated differing microbial O2 and NO3 respiration and NH4+ production. In particular, the relative effect of S. tamesis on sediment metabolism was greater in Cazaux-Sanguinet Lake than in the Mincio River. As a result, S. tamesis favored net N loss in the Mincio River, whereas it increased NH4+ recycling and lowered denitrification efficiency in the Cazaux-Sanguinet Lake. Our results suggest that the effects of S. tamesis on N biogeochemistry might differ depending on local trophic settings. These results have implications for the conservation of isoetids in the French Lake, whose persistence can be menaced by oligochaete-induced nutrient mobilization. View Full-Text
Keywords: alien species; Sparganophilus tamesis; sediments; nitrogen; fluxes; denitrification alien species; Sparganophilus tamesis; sediments; nitrogen; fluxes; denitrification
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Benelli, S.; Bartoli, M.; Ribaudo, C.; Fano, E.A. Contrasting Effects of an Alien Worm on Benthic N Cycling in Muddy and Sandy Sediments. Water 2019, 11, 465.

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