The Berre lagoon receives freshwater from two natural rivers but the implementation of the hydroelectric power plant led to strong changes in the ecosystem structure and functioning. Sediments are important sites for nitrogen cycling because the O(2) sharp gradient allows oxic nitrification as well as anoxic denitrification and anammox to operate in close proximity. Seasonal and short-term variations in the coastal nitrogen processes were quantified at two stations: SA1 located in the northern part of the lagoon directly under the inflows of freshwater and SA3 in the southern part of the lagoon influenced mainly by the marine water inflows. Results revealed that most of the nitrate formed by nitrification was denitrified. Total denitrification was the main N(2) removal process. The high primary production based on N-NH(4)(+) might be explained by mineralization rates, while the primary production based on N-NO(3)(-) was not fully explained by nitrification.
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