The aim of this work was to analyse factors which regulate sulphide mobility in the sediments of a dystrophic lagoon (Sacca di Goro, the southern lagoon of the Po river delta, Italy). In 1995–96, sediment oxygen demand and variations in organic matter content, redox potential, iron availability, inorganic sulphur concentrations and sulphate reduction rates were measured in sediment profiles at three stations (G, 4 and 17) representative of the main areas of the lagoon. Stations differed mainly in their salinity range and primary producer communities. High concentrations of reactive iron (110–275 μmol ml−1) and low sulphate reduction rates (0.8–16.1 mmol m−2 d−) were measured in the sediment. Moreover, high concentrations of reactive ferric iron were detected in winter and spring at the stations closest to the freshwater inputs. Nevertheless, in summer, high concentrations of free sulphides were detected in the porewater, although most of the reactive ferrous iron was not sulphide-bound, indicating that not all of the reactive iron pool was available to buffer against sulphide release and thus measures of reactive iron pools may not be a good measure of the true buffering capacity of the sediment. Furthermore, a considerable production of sulphide may occur in the decaying Ulva biomass in the water column, where its concentration will be independent of the potential buffering capacity of iron in the sediment. Therefore when assessing the vulnerability of coastal lagoons to dystrophic events, both the size and availability of the reactive iron pool as well as the site of sulphide production must be taken into consideration.
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- Seasonal Variations of Sulphate Reduction Rates, Sulphur Pools and Iron Availability in the Sediment of a Dystrophic Lagoon (Sacca Di Goro, Italy)
- Springer Netherlands