Sediment characteristics and microbial mats in a marine mangrove, Manche-à-eau lagoon (Guadeloupe) - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Soils and Sediments Year : 2017

Sediment characteristics and microbial mats in a marine mangrove, Manche-à-eau lagoon (Guadeloupe)

Swanne Gontharet
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Antoine Crémière
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Mathieu Sebilo
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Olivier Gros
David Dessailly
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PurposeMarine mangrove sediments in the Manche-à-Eau lagoon (Guadeloupe, Caribbean Sea) harbor locally extensive, white microbial mats. These mats cover the surface of reduced sediments near the roots of red mangrove trees, Rhizophora mangle, and are mainly composed of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria belonging to the Beggiatoaceae family, with some filamentous cyanobacteria. The goal of this study was to investigate the possible influence of sediment characteristics on the presence of these microbial mats.Materials and methodsFour push cores were collected in April 2013, two from zones with microbial mats and two from zones without mats. Sediment characteristics (grain-size distribution, mineralogy, total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN) contents, atomic TOC/TN ratios, and organic matter (OM) δ13C values) were compared for all four cores.Results and discussionSignificant differences were observed between sediments below microbial mats and those without mats. Sediments with microbial mats contained greater amounts of clay, and higher TOC, TN, and TOC/TN ratios, with lower total carbonate content and δ13C values. The higher clay content most likely results from lower fluid flow velocity near to mangrove roots, while higher TOC/TN ratios and lower δ13C values indicate higher inputs of OM from mangrove trees. These results are consistent with the fact that microbial mats were observed near the roots of mangrove trees, which trap OM from terrestrial vegetation and fine sediments.ConclusionsThe grain-size distribution of sediment particles, the total carbonate content, and the δ13C values are the main parameters discriminating between zones with microbial mats and those without mats. Variations in total carbonate content, which is mainly of biogenic origin, result from conditions that are more favorable for benthic organisms in zones without microbial mats. Variations of the TOC/TN ratios are controlled by the presence of a non-negligible amount of inorganic nitrogen bound to surface clay mineral particles and/or by microbial processes.


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hal-01545903 , version 1 (23-06-2017)



Swanne Gontharet, Antoine Crémière, Marie-Madeleine Blanc-Valleron, Mathieu Sebilo, Olivier Gros, et al.. Sediment characteristics and microbial mats in a marine mangrove, Manche-à-eau lagoon (Guadeloupe). Journal of Soils and Sediments, 2017, 17 (7), pp.1999-2010. ⟨10.1007/s11368-016-1555-6⟩. ⟨hal-01545903⟩
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