Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) is a global and well-studied geological process by which groundwater of varying salinities enters coastal waters. SGD is known to transport bioactive solutes, including but not limited to nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, silica), gases (methane, carbon dioxide), and trace metals (iron, nickel, zinc). In addition, physical changes to the water column, such as changes in temperature and mixing can be caused by SGD. Therefore SGD influences both autotrophic and heterotrophic marine biota across all kingdoms of life. This paper synthesizes the current literature in which the impacts of SGD on marine biota were measured and observed by field, modeling, or laboratory studies. The review is grouped by organismal complexity: bacteria and phytoplankton, macrophytes (macroalgae and marine plants), animals, and ecosystem studies. Directions for future research about the impacts of SGD on marine life, including increasing the number of ecosystem assessment studies and including biological parameters in SGD flux studies, are also discussed.
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