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Keywords:

  • coastal lagoon;
  • physicochemical parameters;
  • nutrients;
  • pigments;
  • seasonal variation

Abstract

  • 1.
    The concentration and distribution of several hydrographical variables from Mar Chiquita coastal lagoon, Argentina, were measured monthly over a year in order to quantify their seasonal variations. Temperature, salinity, inorganic nutrient concentrations (nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, silicate) in the water column, and photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll a and phaeopigments) in suspended particulate matter (SPM), were measured using internationally standardized analytical methods.
  • 2.
    Agricultural use of land surrounding the coastal lagoon has been shown to be the main nutrient source, owing to the use of fertilizers for farming and the consequent leaching of the soils by freshwater runoff.
  • 3.
    Two different hydrographical areas were identified within the coastal lagoon, one showing marine influence and the other dominated by inland influence (due to catchment and freshwater inputs), both with different characteristics and ecological behaviour.
  • 4.
    The frequent occurrence of phytoplankton blooms has also been identified within the coastal lagoon. There was significant biological production (in terms of chlorophyll a) within the lagoon throughout the year. The lagoon appears to function as a transitional system, opportunistically benefiting from extra nutrient inputs which, together with other environmental conditions, results in a continuous food supply, useful to both marine and estuarine organisms. Consequently the system is important for numerous fish and shellfish species as a nursery area.

Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.