Variability of Settling Particles Fluxes and Isotopic Composition (δ13C and δ15N) from Material Trapped in Coastal Reefs of Abrolhos Bank, Eastern Brazilian Shelf

Saulo Spanó, André Luiz Belem, Maria do Rosário Zucchi, Paulo de Oliveira Mafalda Junior, Alessandro Lopes Aguiar, José Roberto Bispo de Sousa, Iracema Reimão Silva, Antônio Expedito Gomes de Azevedo


Elemental and isotopic ratios (C/N, δ13C, δ15N) of sediment samples captured by PVC traps in eight stations along the coastal reefs of the Abrolhos region, Brazil, were analyzed. The study area is characterized by the influence of continental sediments on biogenic sediments. The highest δ13C values were found in the Sebastião Gomes (second shallower station), with average values close to -15‰ in all sampling periods. The isotopic ratio of carbon and nitrogen indicates that the organic matter analyzed has marine origin, with signature features of oceanic regions. The highest C/N ratio average value of 8.29 occurred in Nova Viçosa (the southernmost station and one of the shallowest) during the spring, in other seasons the average value was close to 7 in all periods. Although the values of C/N indicate a significantly marine contribution, δ15N values suggest that N series recycling processes are frequent during the time that the material remained in the environment. The results will provide a baseline for future environmental monitoring and studies on changes in sediment composition in an important set of coastal coral reefs.


Sediment traps; Abrolhos; Stable isotopes

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