Quantity and quality of particulate organic matter controls bacterial production in the Columbia River estuary

Byron C. Crump, Lindy M. Fine, Caroline S. Fortunato, Lydie Herfort, Joseph Needoba, Sheryl Murdock, Fredrick G. Prahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Estuaries function as "bioreactors" for fluvial materials in which microbial, biogeochemical, and ecological processes transform organic matter and nutrients prior to export to coastal oceans. The impact of estuarine bioreactors is linked to the bioavailability and residence time of fluvial material, and to rates of microbial activity. In the Columbia River estuary, water residence time is short (approximately 2 d), but particle residence time is extended by estuarine turbidity maxima (ETM). To investigate relationships between organic matter and microbial activity, samples were collected in spring and fall 2012 and summer 2013, and ETM particles were fractionated by settling velocity using an Owen-style settling column. Data were also analyzed from 16 other sampling campaigns conducted in 1990-2009. The composition of suspended particulate matter shifted seasonally following the spring freshet and river phytoplankton bloom with decreasing organic content, increasing C/N ratio, and an increasing contribution of autochthonous particulate organic matter (POM) produced in four shallow lateral bays (based on del-PO13C and pigment ratios). Heterotrophic bacterial production responded to seasonal changes in POM and correlated most strongly with estimates of labile particulate nitrogen during any particular season, and with the riverine flux of chlorophyll a (Chl a) across all seasons. Regression models suggest that labile particulate nitrogen and bacterial production can be predicted from sensor-based measurements including turbidity, salinity, and temperature in the estuary and Chl a in the river. These results demonstrate that heterotrophic activity in the Columbia River estuary is controlled by POM lability, and by the degree to which ETM retain and concentrate POM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2017

Fingerprint

Columbia River
particulate organic matter
turbidity
estuaries
estuary
residence time
particulates
bioreactors
river
microbial activity
bioreactor
chlorophyll a
organic matter
chlorophyll
rivers
settling velocity
nitrogen
suspended particulate matter
algal blooms
carbon nitrogen ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Quantity and quality of particulate organic matter controls bacterial production in the Columbia River estuary. / Crump, Byron C.; Fine, Lindy M.; Fortunato, Caroline S.; Herfort, Lydie; Needoba, Joseph; Murdock, Sheryl; Prahl, Fredrick G.

In: Limnology and Oceanography, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Crump, Byron C. ; Fine, Lindy M. ; Fortunato, Caroline S. ; Herfort, Lydie ; Needoba, Joseph ; Murdock, Sheryl ; Prahl, Fredrick G. / Quantity and quality of particulate organic matter controls bacterial production in the Columbia River estuary. In: Limnology and Oceanography. 2017.
@article{e6bbfd4868f3447ca13af24ed7a98977,
title = "Quantity and quality of particulate organic matter controls bacterial production in the Columbia River estuary",
abstract = "Estuaries function as {"}bioreactors{"} for fluvial materials in which microbial, biogeochemical, and ecological processes transform organic matter and nutrients prior to export to coastal oceans. The impact of estuarine bioreactors is linked to the bioavailability and residence time of fluvial material, and to rates of microbial activity. In the Columbia River estuary, water residence time is short (approximately 2 d), but particle residence time is extended by estuarine turbidity maxima (ETM). To investigate relationships between organic matter and microbial activity, samples were collected in spring and fall 2012 and summer 2013, and ETM particles were fractionated by settling velocity using an Owen-style settling column. Data were also analyzed from 16 other sampling campaigns conducted in 1990-2009. The composition of suspended particulate matter shifted seasonally following the spring freshet and river phytoplankton bloom with decreasing organic content, increasing C/N ratio, and an increasing contribution of autochthonous particulate organic matter (POM) produced in four shallow lateral bays (based on del-PO13C and pigment ratios). Heterotrophic bacterial production responded to seasonal changes in POM and correlated most strongly with estimates of labile particulate nitrogen during any particular season, and with the riverine flux of chlorophyll a (Chl a) across all seasons. Regression models suggest that labile particulate nitrogen and bacterial production can be predicted from sensor-based measurements including turbidity, salinity, and temperature in the estuary and Chl a in the river. These results demonstrate that heterotrophic activity in the Columbia River estuary is controlled by POM lability, and by the degree to which ETM retain and concentrate POM.",
author = "Crump, {Byron C.} and Fine, {Lindy M.} and Fortunato, {Caroline S.} and Lydie Herfort and Joseph Needoba and Sheryl Murdock and Prahl, {Fredrick G.}",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1002/lno.10601",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Limnology and Oceanography",
issn = "0024-3590",
publisher = "American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Quantity and quality of particulate organic matter controls bacterial production in the Columbia River estuary

AU - Crump, Byron C.

AU - Fine, Lindy M.

AU - Fortunato, Caroline S.

AU - Herfort, Lydie

AU - Needoba, Joseph

AU - Murdock, Sheryl

AU - Prahl, Fredrick G.

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Estuaries function as "bioreactors" for fluvial materials in which microbial, biogeochemical, and ecological processes transform organic matter and nutrients prior to export to coastal oceans. The impact of estuarine bioreactors is linked to the bioavailability and residence time of fluvial material, and to rates of microbial activity. In the Columbia River estuary, water residence time is short (approximately 2 d), but particle residence time is extended by estuarine turbidity maxima (ETM). To investigate relationships between organic matter and microbial activity, samples were collected in spring and fall 2012 and summer 2013, and ETM particles were fractionated by settling velocity using an Owen-style settling column. Data were also analyzed from 16 other sampling campaigns conducted in 1990-2009. The composition of suspended particulate matter shifted seasonally following the spring freshet and river phytoplankton bloom with decreasing organic content, increasing C/N ratio, and an increasing contribution of autochthonous particulate organic matter (POM) produced in four shallow lateral bays (based on del-PO13C and pigment ratios). Heterotrophic bacterial production responded to seasonal changes in POM and correlated most strongly with estimates of labile particulate nitrogen during any particular season, and with the riverine flux of chlorophyll a (Chl a) across all seasons. Regression models suggest that labile particulate nitrogen and bacterial production can be predicted from sensor-based measurements including turbidity, salinity, and temperature in the estuary and Chl a in the river. These results demonstrate that heterotrophic activity in the Columbia River estuary is controlled by POM lability, and by the degree to which ETM retain and concentrate POM.

AB - Estuaries function as "bioreactors" for fluvial materials in which microbial, biogeochemical, and ecological processes transform organic matter and nutrients prior to export to coastal oceans. The impact of estuarine bioreactors is linked to the bioavailability and residence time of fluvial material, and to rates of microbial activity. In the Columbia River estuary, water residence time is short (approximately 2 d), but particle residence time is extended by estuarine turbidity maxima (ETM). To investigate relationships between organic matter and microbial activity, samples were collected in spring and fall 2012 and summer 2013, and ETM particles were fractionated by settling velocity using an Owen-style settling column. Data were also analyzed from 16 other sampling campaigns conducted in 1990-2009. The composition of suspended particulate matter shifted seasonally following the spring freshet and river phytoplankton bloom with decreasing organic content, increasing C/N ratio, and an increasing contribution of autochthonous particulate organic matter (POM) produced in four shallow lateral bays (based on del-PO13C and pigment ratios). Heterotrophic bacterial production responded to seasonal changes in POM and correlated most strongly with estimates of labile particulate nitrogen during any particular season, and with the riverine flux of chlorophyll a (Chl a) across all seasons. Regression models suggest that labile particulate nitrogen and bacterial production can be predicted from sensor-based measurements including turbidity, salinity, and temperature in the estuary and Chl a in the river. These results demonstrate that heterotrophic activity in the Columbia River estuary is controlled by POM lability, and by the degree to which ETM retain and concentrate POM.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85021395022&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85021395022&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/lno.10601

DO - 10.1002/lno.10601

M3 - Article

JO - Limnology and Oceanography

JF - Limnology and Oceanography

SN - 0024-3590

ER -