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The biogeochemistry of mangrove sediments was investigated in several mangrove forest communities in Gazi Bay, a coastal lagoon in Kenya, Africa. Carbon dioxide fluxes, sediment median grain sizes, sedimentary organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus contents and pore-water characteristics (ammonium, nitrate, sulfate and chloride) could be related to forest type. Mangrove sediments have pH values that range from 3.5 to 8.3 due to the limited buffer capacity of these sediments and intense acidifying processes such as aerobic degradation of organic matter, oxidation of reduced components, ammonium uptake by roots and root respiration. The mangrove sediments are nitrogen-rich compared to mangrove litter, as a result of microbial nitrogen retention, uptake and fixation, and import of nitrogen-rich material. It appears that mangrove sediments in Gazi Bay act as a nutrient and carbon sink rather than as a source for adjacent seagrass and reef ecosystems. [KEYWORDS: biogeochemistry; mangrove; sediments; organic carbon; nitrogen; carbonate dissolution Tropical mangrove; sulfate reduction; organic-carbon; particulate materials; benthic metabolism; water interface;seagrass beds; nitrogen; swamp; turnover]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-155
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

ID: 385462