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Crab Bioturbation and Seasonality Control Nitrous Oxide Emissions in Semiarid Mangrove Forests (Ceará, Brazil)

CRESTUS Institute, Departamento Edafoloxía e Química Agrícola, Facultade de Bioloxía, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Rúa Lope G Marzoa, s/n. Campus sur. 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Graduate Program in Ecology and Natural Resources, Department of Biology, Campus of Pici, Federal University of Ceará, 60440 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture Luiz de Queiroz, University of São Paulo, ESALQ/USP, Av. Pádua Dias 11, 13418 Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
Graduate Program in Geoscience (Geochemistry), Department of Geochemistry, Federal Fluminense University, Outeiro de São João Batista s/n, Campus do Valonguinho, Centro, 24020 Niterói, RJ, Brazil
Laboratório de Biogeoquímica Ambiental, Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura, CENA/USP, Av. Centenário 303, 13400 Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 2215;
Received: 10 January 2020 / Revised: 24 February 2020 / Accepted: 2 March 2020 / Published: 25 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental and Sustainable Science and Technology)
Seasonality and crab activity affects the nutrients and physicochemical parameters in mangrove soils, thus, affecting the emissions of greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide (N2O). Climate change may intensify rainfall and/or enhance droughts, affecting mangroves and associated biota. Crabs are natural soil bioturbators responsible for soil aeration and turnover. We evaluated the effect of Ucides cordatus crab on N2O emissions from mangrove soils under a semiarid climate in Northeastern Brazil. Soil and gas samples were collected over the rainy and dry seasons in crab-naturally-bioturbated and crab-exclusion mangrove plots. We measured the soil’s pH, redox potential, and the total contents of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur. We found higher N2O emissions in the crab-exclusion sites compared to the bioturbated sites, as well as higher N2O emissions in the rainy season compared to the dry season. The fluxes of N2O (µg m−2 h−1) were 47.3 ± 9.7 and 8.9 ± 0.5 for the crab-exclusion sites, and 36.5 ± 7.8 and 4.5 ± 2.1 for the bioturbated sites (wet and dry seasons, respectively). The soil turning over by macrofauna led to lower N2O fluxes in natural crab-bioturbated areas, and seasonality was the environmental factor that contributed the most to the changes in N2O emissions. Broadly, anthropic activities and seasonality influence nitrogen fate, N2O emissions, and ecological services in coastal ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ucides cordatus; N2O; mangroves; greenhouse gas; estuarine fauna Ucides cordatus; N2O; mangroves; greenhouse gas; estuarine fauna
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Otero, X.L.; Araújo, J.M.C., Jr.; Barcellos, D.; Queiroz, H.M.; Romero, D.J.; Nóbrega, G.N.; Siqueira Neto, M.; Ferreira, T.O. Crab Bioturbation and Seasonality Control Nitrous Oxide Emissions in Semiarid Mangrove Forests (Ceará, Brazil). Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 2215.

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