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Oxygen and light determine the pathways of nitrate reduction in a highly saline lake

Abstract : Nitrate (NO3 −) removal from aquatic ecosystems involves several microbially mediated processes including denitrification, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA), and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) regulated by slight changes in environmental gradients. Saline lakes are prone to the accumulation of anthropogenic contaminants, making them highly vulnerable environments to NO3 − pollution. We investigated nitrate removal pathways in mesocosm experiments using lacustrine, undisturbed, organic-rich sediments from Pétrola Lake (Spain), a highly saline waterbody subject to anthropogenic NO3 − pollution. We used the revised 15 N-isotope pairing technique (15 N-IPT) to determine NO3 − sink processes. Our results demonstrate the coexistence of denitrification, DNRA, and anammox processes, and their contribution was determined by environmental conditions (oxygen and light). DNRA and N2O-denitrification were the dominant nitrogen (N) removal pathways when oxygen and/or light were present (up to 82%). In contrast, anoxia and darkness promoted NO3 − reduction by DNRA (52%) and N loss by anammox (28%). Our results highlight the role of coupled DNRA-anammox, as yet has never been investigated in hypersaline lake ecosystems. We conclude that anoxia and darkness favored DNRA and anammox processes over denitrification and therefore reduce N2O emissions to the atmosphere.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03022672
Contributor : Patricia Bonin <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 10:22:44 PM
Last modification on : Friday, March 5, 2021 - 3:02:43 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 9:17:26 PM

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Nicolás Valiente, Franz Jirsa, Thomas Hein, Wolfgang Wanek, Patricia Bonin, et al.. Oxygen and light determine the pathways of nitrate reduction in a highly saline lake. Biogeosciences, European Geosciences Union, 2020, ⟨10.5194/bg-2020-20⟩. ⟨hal-03022672⟩

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