FCE LTER Journal Articles


The Effect of Nutrient-Rich Effluents from Shrimp Farming on Mangrove Soil Carbon Storage and Geochemistry Under Semi-Arid Climate Conditions in Northern Brazil


A semi-arid mangrove estuary system in the northeast Brazilian coast (Ceará state) was selected for this study to (i) evaluate the impact of shrimp farm nutrient-rich wastewater effluents on the soil geochemistry and organic carbon (OC) storage and (ii) estimate the total amount of OC stored in mangrove soils (0–40 cm). Wastewater-affected mangrove forests were referred to as WAM and undisturbed areas as Non-WAM. Redox conditions and OC content were statistically correlated (P < 0.05) with seasonality and type of land use (WAM vs. Non-WAM). Eh values were from anoxic to oxic conditions in the wet season (from − 5 to 68 mV in WAM and from < 40 to > 400 mV in Non-WAM soils) and significantly higher (from 66 to 411 mV) in the dry season (P < 0.01). OC contents (0–40 cm soil depth) were significantly higher (P < 0.01) in the wet season than the dry season, and higher in Non-WAM soils than in WAM soils (values of 8.1 and 6.7 kg m− 2 in the wet and dry seasons, respectively, for Non-WAM, and values of 3.8 and 2.9 kg m− 2 in the wet and dry seasons, respectively, for WAM soils; P < 0.01). Iron partitioning was significantly dependent (P < 0.05) on type of land use, with a smaller degree of pyritization and lower Fe-pyrite presence in WAM soils compared to Non-WAM soils. Basal respiration of soil sediments was significantly influenced (P < 0.01) by type of land use with highest CO2 flux rates measured in the WAM soils (mean values of 0.20 mg CO2 h− 1–g− 1 C vs. 0.04 mg CO2 h− 1–g− 1 C). The OC storage reduction in WAM soils was potentially caused (i) by an increase in microbial activity induced by loading of nutrient-rich effluents and (ii) by an increase of strong electron acceptors [e.g., NO3] that promote a decrease in pyrite concentration and hence a reduction in soil OC burial. The current estimated OC stored in mangrove soils (0–40 cm) in the state of Ceará is approximately 1 million t.


The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2013.08.007

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DBI-0620409 and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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