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See detailEffects of agricultural land use on fluvial carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide concentrations in a large European river, the Meuse (Belgium)
Borges, Alberto ULiege; Darchambeau, F.; Lambert, T et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2018), 610–611

We report a data-set of CO2, CH4, and N2O concentrations in the surface waters of the Meuse river network in Belgium, obtained during four surveys covering 50 stations (summer 2013 and late winter 2013 ... [more ▼]

We report a data-set of CO2, CH4, and N2O concentrations in the surface waters of the Meuse river network in Belgium, obtained during four surveys covering 50 stations (summer 2013 and late winter 2013, 2014 and 2015), from yearly cycles in four rivers of variable size and catchment land cover, and from 111 groundwater samples. Surface waters of the Meuse river network were over-saturated in CO2, CH4, N2O with respect to atmospheric equilibrium, acting as sources of these greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, although the dissolved gases also showed marked seasonal and spatial variations. Seasonal variations were related to changes in freshwater discharge following the hydrological cycle, with highest concentrations of CO2, CH4, N2O during low water owing to a longer water residence time and lower currents (i.e. lower gas transfer velocities), both contributing to the accumulation of gases in the water column, combined with higher temperatures favourable to microbial processes. Inter-annual differences of discharge also led to differences in CH4 and N2O that were higher in years with prolonged low water periods. Spatial variations were mostly due to differences in land cover over the catchments, with systems dominated by agriculture (croplands and pastures) having higher CO2, CH4, N2O levels than forested systems. This seemed to be related to higher levels of dissolved and particulate organic matter, as well as dissolved inorganic nitrogen in agriculture dominated systems compared to forested ones. Groundwater had very low CH4 concentrations in the shallow and unconfined aquifers (mostly fractured limestones) of the Meuse basin, hence, should not contribute significantly to the high CH4 levels in surface riverine waters. Owing to high dissolved concentrations, groundwater could potentially transfer important quantities of CO2 and N2O to surface waters of the Meuse basin, although this hypothesis remains to be tested. [less ▲]

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See detailDenitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium in an East African Great Lake (Lake Kivu)
Roland, Fleur ULiege; Darchambeau, François; Borges, Alberto ULiege et al

in Limnology and Oceanography (2017)

We investigated anaerobic nitrogen (N) cycling in the water column of Lake Kivu, a deep meromictic tropical lake in East Africa. Data were collected at one station in the Northern Basin and one in the ... [more ▼]

We investigated anaerobic nitrogen (N) cycling in the water column of Lake Kivu, a deep meromictic tropical lake in East Africa. Data were collected at one station in the Northern Basin and one in the Southern Basin, during two sampling campaigns (June 2011—dry season, and February 2012—rainy season). Short-term incubations of sulfide-free water with 15N-labeled substrates revealed high potential denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) rates (up to 350 and 36 nmol N produced L−1 h−1, respectively), while anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) was lower (up to 3.3 nmol N produced L−1 h−1). However, anammox rates were 15 nmol N produced L−1 h−1 when 15 NH4+ was added at depths where NH4+ concentrations were very low (< 1 μmol L−1). With the addition of 5 μmol L−1 of 15 NO3− and 10 μmol L−1 of H2S, denitrification and anammox were stimulated in the Northern Basin, while the increase of DNRA rates was less notable. In the Southern Basin, the addition of H2S decreased denitrification rates, probably because of competition with DNRA, which increased, while no effect was observed on anammox. This study puts into evidence the co-occurrence of denitrification, anammox and DNRA, for the first time in a great tropical lake, and underlines the spatial heterogeneity of these processes. Contrary to numerous reports in literature, we show that anammox can significantly occur in presence of H2S, suggesting that the contribution of anammox in the N cycle may be underestimated. [less ▲]

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See detailPreservation protocol for dimethylsulfoniopropionate and dimethylsulfoxide analysis in plant material of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica, and re-evaluation of dimethylsulfoniopropionate leaf content
Borges, Alberto ULiege; Champenois, Willy ULiege

in Aquatic Botany (2017), 143C

We tested three treatments to preserve Posidonia oceanica leaves for the analysis of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO): oven dried at 60 °C for 24 h, frozen at −20 °C, and ... [more ▼]

We tested three treatments to preserve Posidonia oceanica leaves for the analysis of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO): oven dried at 60 °C for 24 h, frozen at −20 °C, and frozen-in-ice and kept at −20 °C. The DMSP content was analyzed by proxy as dimethylsulfide (DMS) by gas chromatography after alkaline cleavage at room-temperature. The DMSP leaf content of P. oceanica in samples that were oven dried at 60 °C for 24 h, then stored at room temperature decreased by 87% over 80 days of storage and then remained stable for about 88 additional days compared to the control. The DMSO leaf content of P. oceanica in samples that were oven dried increased nine-fold after 198 days of storage following drying compared to the control. Both the DMSP and DMSO leaf content of P. oceanica remained stable for 198 days compared to the control with frozen and frozen-in-ice treatments, which we both recommend as adequate protocols to preserve P. oceanica tissues for DMS(P,O) analysis. The annual average DMSP leaf content of P. oceanica at 10 m in the Bay of Calvi (Corsica, France) was 205 ± 58 μmol g−1 (fresh weight) based on samples preserved frozen, two orders of magnitude higher than the value we previously reported based on samples that were oven dried. The newly determined DMSP leaf content allows ranking P. oceanica as the highest DMSP producer reported to date among marine and inter-tidal autotrophs. [less ▲]

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See detailLandscape and hydrological controls on the downstream transport of dissolved organic matter in the Congo and Zambezi rivers
Lambert, T; Bouillon, S; Teodoru, CR et al

Conference (2017, August 20)

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See detailNatural patches in Posidonia oceanica meadows: the seasonal biogeochemical pore water characteristics of two edge types
Abadie, A; Borges, Alberto ULiege; Champenois, Willy ULiege et al

in Marine Biology (2017), 164:166

Seagrass meadows can be assimilated to seascape matrixes encompassing a mosaic of natural and anthropogenic patches. Natural patches within the Mediterranean Posidonia oceanica meadows show a structural ... [more ▼]

Seagrass meadows can be assimilated to seascape matrixes encompassing a mosaic of natural and anthropogenic patches. Natural patches within the Mediterranean Posidonia oceanica meadows show a structural particularity which consist in a duality of their edge types. One edge is eroded by bottom currents, while the adjacent meadow colonizes the bare sediments. This study aims to study the dynamics of these two edges through the investigation of the biogeochemistry (pH, total alkalinity, dissolved inorganic carbon, CO2, CH4, N2O, H2S, dissolved inorganic nitrogen, PO4 3−) within vegetated and unvegetated sediments. These observations are compared with the adjacent meadow to have a better understanding of the colonization processes. Our results reveal that the P. oceanica matrix shows differences from the vegetated edges of sand patches, especially with regard to nutrient availability, which is generally more important at the colonized edge (dissolved inorganic nitrogen up to 65.39 μM in June). A clear disparity also occurs between the eroded and colonized edge with both a seasonal and bathymetrical variation of leaf biomass with higher disparities at 10 m in June (colonized edge 1415 gDW m−2; eroded edge 1133 gDW m−2). Themost important contrasts during this study were assessed in June, suggesting that the warm period of the year is more suitable for sampling to highlight disparate characteristics in temperate seagrass meadows. These findings put into light the potential importance of biogeochemical processes in the dynamics of natural patch edges. We hypothesize that they may influence the structural dynamics of P. oceanica seascapes. [less ▲]

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See detailCyanobacterial Contribution to Travertine Deposition in the Hoyoux River System, Belgium
Kleinteich, Julia; Golubic, Stjepko; Pessi, Igor S. et al

in Microbial Ecology (2017), 74

Travertine deposition is a landscape-forming process, usually building a series of calcareous barriers differentiating the river flow into a series of cascades and ponds. The process of carbonate ... [more ▼]

Travertine deposition is a landscape-forming process, usually building a series of calcareous barriers differentiating the river flow into a series of cascades and ponds. The process of carbonate precipitation is a complex relationship between biogenic and abiotic causative agents, involving adapted microbial assemblages but also requiring high levels of carbonate saturation, spontaneous degassing of carbon dioxide and slightly alkaline pH. We have analysed calcareous crusts and water chemistry from four sampling sites along the Hoyoux River and its Triffoy tributary (Belgium) in winter, spring, summer and autumn 2014. Different surface textures of travertine deposits correlated with particular microenvironments and were influenced by the local water flow. In all microenvironments, we have identified the cyanobacterium Phormidium incrustatum (Nägeli) Gomont as the organism primarily responsible for carbonate precipitation and travertine fabric by combining morphological analysis with molecular sequencing (16S rRNA gene and ITS, the Internal Transcribed Spacer fragments), targeting both field populations and cultures to exclude opportunistic microorganisms responding favourably to culture conditions. Several closely related cyanobacterial strains were cultured; however, only one proved identical with the sequences obtained from the field population by direct PCR. This strain was the dominant primary producer in the calcareous deposits under study and in similar streams in Europe. The dominance of one organism that had a demonstrated association with carbonate precipitation presented a valuable opportunity to study its function in construction, preservation and fossilisation potential of ambient temperature travertine deposits. These relationships were examined using scanning electron microscopy and Raman microspectroscopy. [less ▲]

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See detailOccurrence of greenhouse gases (CO2, N2O and CH4) in groundwater of the Walloon Region (Belgium).
Jurado Elices, Anna ULiege; Borges, Alberto ULiege; Pujades, Estanislao ULiege et al

Conference (2017, April 28)

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are an environmental problem because their concentrations in the atmosphere have continuously risen since the industrial revolution. They can be indirectly transferred to the ... [more ▼]

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are an environmental problem because their concentrations in the atmosphere have continuously risen since the industrial revolution. They can be indirectly transferred to the atmosphere through groundwater discharge into surface water bodies such as rivers. However, their occurrence is poorly evaluated in groundwater. The aim of this work is to identify the hydrogeological contexts (e.g., chalk and limestone aquifers) and the most conductive conditions for the generation of GHGs in groundwater at a regional scale. To this end, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations, major and minor elements and environmental isotopes were monitored in several groundwater bodies of the Walloon Region (Belgium) from September 2014 to June 2016. The concentrations of GHGs in groundwater ranged from 1769 to 100519 ppm for the partial pressure of CO2 and from 0 to 1064 nmol/L and 1 to 37062 nmol/L for CH4 and N2O respectively. Over- all, groundwater was supersaturated in GHGs with respect to atmospheric equilibrium, suggesting that groundwater contribute to the atmospheric GHGs budget. Prior inspection of the data suggested that N2O in groundwater can be produced by denitrification and nitrification. The most suitable conditions for the accumulation of N2O are promoted by intermediate dissolved oxygen concentrations (2.5-3 mg L−1) and the availability of nitrate (NO3 ). These observations will be compared with the isotopes of NO3 . CH4 was less detected and at lower concentration than N2O, suggesting that groundwater redox conditions are not reducing enough to promoted the production of CH4. The results will be presented and discussed in detail in the presentation. [less ▲]

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See detailGlobally significant greenhouse-gas emissions from African inland waters
Borges, Alberto ULiege; Bouilon, S

Conference (2017, April 28)

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See detailHow phosphorus limitation can control climatic gas sources and sinks
Gypens, N; Borges, Alberto ULiege; Ghyoot, C

Poster (2017, April 25)

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See detailThaw pond dynamics and carbon emissions in a Siberian lowland tundra landscape
Van Huissteden, J.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Dean, J. et al

Poster (2017, April 25)

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See detailCarbon dioxide evasion from the Seine River: Drivers analysis and spatiotemporal reconstruction
Marescaux, A; Thieu, v; Borges, Alberto ULiege et al

Conference (2017, February 26)

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See detailHow phosphorus limitation can control climate-active gas sources and sinks
Gypens, Nathalie; Borges, Alberto ULiege; Ghyoot, Caroline

in Journal of Marine Systems (2017), 170

Since the 1950's, anthropogenic activities have increased nutrient river loads to European coastal areas. Subsequent implementation of nutrient reduction policies have led to considerably reduction of ... [more ▼]

Since the 1950's, anthropogenic activities have increased nutrient river loads to European coastal areas. Subsequent implementation of nutrient reduction policies have led to considerably reduction of phosphorus (P) loads from the mid-1980's, while nitrogen (N) loads were maintained, inducing a P limitation of phytoplankton growth in many eutrophied coastal areas such as the Southern Bight f the North Sea (SBNS). When dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) is limiting, most phytoplankton organisms are able to indirectly acquire P from dissolved organic P (DOP). We investigate the impact of DOP use on phytoplankton production and atmospheric fluxes of CO2 and dimethylsulfide (DMS) in the SBNS from 1951 to 2007 using an extended version of the RMIRO-BIOGAS model. This model includes a description of the ability of phytoplankton organisms to use DOP as a source of P. Results show that primary production can increase up to 30% due to DOP uptake under limiting DIP conditions. Consequently, simulated DMS emissions also increase proportionally while CO2 emissions to the atmosphere decrease, relative to the reference simulation without DOP uptake [less ▲]

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See detailDynamics and emissions of N2O in groundwater: A review
Jurado Elices, Anna ULiege; Borges, Alberto ULiege; Brouyère, Serge ULiege

in Science of the Total Environment (2017), 584-585C

This work reviews the concentrations, the dynamics and the emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) in groundwater. N2O is an important greenhouse gas (GHG) and the primary stratospheric ozone depleting substance ... [more ▼]

This work reviews the concentrations, the dynamics and the emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) in groundwater. N2O is an important greenhouse gas (GHG) and the primary stratospheric ozone depleting substance. The major anthropogenic source that contributes to N2O generation in aquifers is agriculture because the use of fertilizers has led to the widespread groundwater contamination by inorganic nitrogen (N) (mainly nitrate, NO3−). Once in the aquifer, this inorganic N is transported and affected by several geochemical processes that produce and consume N2O. An inventory of dissolved N2O concentrations is presented and the highest dissolved concentration is about 18.000 times higher than air-equilibrated water (up to 4004 μg N L-1). The accumulation of N2O in groundwater is mainly due to denitrification and to lesser extent to nitrification. Their occurrence depend on the geochemical (e.g., NO3−, dissolved oxygen, ammonium and dissolved organic carbon) as well as hydrogeological parameters (e.g., groundwater table fluctuations and aquifer permeability). The coupled understanding of both parameters is necessary to gain insight on the dynamics and the emissions of N2O in groundwater. Overall, groundwater indirect N2O emissions seem to be a minor component of N2O emissions to the atmosphere. Further research might be devoted to evaluate the groundwater contribution to the indirect emissions of N2O because this will help to better constraint the N2O global budget and, consequently, the N budget. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of human land use on the terrestrial and aquatic sources of fluvial organic matter in a temperate river basin (The Meuse River, Belgium)
Lambert, Thibault; Bouillon, Steven; Darchambeau, François et al

in Biogeochemistry (2017)

The impact of human activities on the concentrations and composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and particulate organic matter (POM) was investigated in the Walloon Region of the Meuse River basin ... [more ▼]

The impact of human activities on the concentrations and composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and particulate organic matter (POM) was investigated in the Walloon Region of the Meuse River basin (Belgium). Water samples were collected at different hydrological periods along a gradient of human disturbance (50 sampling sites ranging from 8.0 to 20,407 km2) and during a 1.5 year monitoring of the Meuse River at the city of Liège. This dataset was completed by the characterization of the DOM pool in groundwaters. The composition of DOM and POM was investigated through elemental (C:N ratios), isotopic ($\delta$13C) and optical measurements including excitation emission matrix fluorescence with parallel factor analysis (EEM--PARAFAC). Land use was a major driver on fluvial OM composition at the regional scale of the Meuse Basin, the composition of both fluvial DOM and POM pools showing a shift toward a more microbial/algal and less plant/soil-derived character as human disturbance increased. The comparison of DOM composition between surface and groundwaters demonstrated that this pattern can be attributed in part to the transformation of terrestrial sources by agricultural practices that promote the decomposition of soil organic matter in agricultural lands and subsequent microbial inputs in terrestrial sources. In parallel, human land had contrasting effects on the autochthonous production of DOM and POM. While the in-stream generation of fresh DOM through biological activity was promoted in urban areas, summer autochthonous POM production was not influenced by land use. Finally, soil erosion by agricultural management practices favored the transfer of terrestrial organic matter via the particulate phase. Stable isotope data suggest that the hydrological transfer of terrestrial DOM and POM in human-impacted catchment are not subject to the same controls, and that physical exchange between these two pools of organic matter is limited. [less ▲]

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See detailProductivity and temperature as drivers of seasonal and spatial variations of dissolved methane in the Southern Bight of the North Sea
Borges, Alberto ULiege; Speeckaert, Gaëlle ULiege; Champenois, Willy ULiege et al

in Ecosystems (2017), doi:10.1007/s10021-017-0171-7

Dissolved CH4 concentrations in the Belgian coastal zone (North Sea) ranged between 670 nmol L-1 near-shore and 4 nmol L-1 off-shore. Spatial variations of CH4 were related to sediment organic matter (OM ... [more ▼]

Dissolved CH4 concentrations in the Belgian coastal zone (North Sea) ranged between 670 nmol L-1 near-shore and 4 nmol L-1 off-shore. Spatial variations of CH4 were related to sediment organic matter (OM) content and gassy sediments. In near-shore stations with fine sand or muddy sediments, the CH4 seasonal cycle followed water temperature, suggesting methanogenesis control by temperature in these OM rich sediments. In off-shore stations with permeable sediments, the CH4 seasonal cycle showed a yearly peak following the Chlorophyll-a spring peak, suggesting that in these OM poor sediments, methanogenesis depended on freshly produced OM delivery. This does not exclude the possibility that some CH4 might originate from dimethylsulfide (DMS) or dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) or methylphosphonate transformations in the most off-shore stations. Yet, the average seasonal CH4 cycle was unrelated to those of DMS(P), very abundant during the Phaeocystis bloom. The annual average CH4 emission was 126 mmol m-2 yr-1 in the most near-shore stations (~4 km from the coast) and 28 mmol m-2 yr-1 in the most off-shore stations (~23 km from the coast), 1,260 to 280 times higher than the open ocean average value (0.1 mmol m-2 yr-1). The strong control of CH4 by sediment OM content and by temperature suggests that marine coastal CH4 emissions, in particular in shallow areas, should respond to future eutrophication and warming of climate. This is supported by the comparison of CH4 concentrations at five stations obtained in March 1990 and 2016, showing a decreasing trend consistent with alleviation of eutrophication in the area. [less ▲]

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See detailDimethylsulfonopropionate would be a reactive oxygen species scavenger for phytoplankton cell
Royer, Colin ULiege; Borges, Alberto ULiege; Gypens, Nathalie

Diverse speeche and writing (2017)

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