Nutrient and ecosystem dynamics in Ireland's only marine nature reserve (NEIDIN)

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Resource or Project Abstract

Nutrient levels, particularly nitrogen, in Lough Hyne and coastal waters are substantially higher than a decade ago. The atomic ratio of N:P in coastal waters exceeds the 16:1 ratio for optimum phytoplankton growth, suggesting that the coastal environment is P limited. Potentially toxic dinoflagellate abundance also correlates with nitrogen loading, indicating that high N levels are favouring dinoflagellate production. Enrichment of the coastal waters is a wider problem than initially thought, and is adversely affecting a number of areas in the south-west of Ireland. Recommend monitoring of N levels in Irish coastal waters and determining relative contributions of ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, dissolved organic, inorganic, particulate etc forms to total nitrogen pool to identify sources of N, and highlight seasonal changes in their contribution to phytoplankton blooms. Recommended that infrastructure funding be sought for deployment of automated samplers in strategic locations to monitor nutrients and water quality parameters

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Mark Jessopp
University College Cork

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsLough Hyne, Nutrients, Eutrophication, chlorophyll, Pseudo-nitzschia
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2007-FS-B-4-M5
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeWater Quality
Resource Availability: Non Owner-Users Cannot Download Files from This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceThe reliability, quality and completeness of data gained through SAFER-Data is intended to be used in an education or research context. These data are not guaranteed for use in operational or decision-making settings. The EPA and SAFER-Data requests an acknowledgement (in publications, conference papers, etc) from those who use data/information received with SAFER-Data. This acknowledgement should state the original creators of the data/information. An automated citation is provided below. It is not ethical to publish data/information without proper attribution or co-authorship. The data/information are the intellectual property of the collecting investigator(s). The data/information may be freely downloaded and used by all who respect the restrictions and requirements in the previous paragraphs.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 3
Project Start Date Tuesday 1st January 2008 (01-01-2008)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Tuesday 1st January 2008 (01-01-2008)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Thursday 31st December 2009 (31-12-2009)
Published on SAFERThursday 9th December 2010 (09-12-2010)
Date of Last EditThursday 9th December 2010 at 10:54:42 (09-12-2010)
Datasets or Files Updated On Thursday 9th December 2010 at 10:54:42 (09-12-2010)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
Water quality parameters (Total N, Total P, Total Si, Chlorophyll-a) measured from integrated water sample from surface-10m depth. Water temperature and dissolved oxygen measured at 1m intervals from surface to bottom depth. Phytoplankton species and abundance from integrated water sample (0-10m). Phytoplankton preserved in acidified Lugols solution and identified under inverted microscope at 200-400x magnification. Location is Lough Hyne - a semi-enclosed marine lake situated 3 miles west of Skibereen and some 50 miles from Cork City in Southwest Ireland. It measures just 0.8 km by 0.6 km and it is believed that the Lough was a freshwater lake up to 4000 years ago, when a rise in sea levels joined it with the sea. It is now a highly sheltered, seawater basin connected to the North Atlantic Ocean via a narrow inlet called Barloge Creek.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
The EU Water Framework Directive sets a framework for the comprehensive management of all water resources within the European Community with its fundamental objective being the prevention of any deterioration in the existing status of waters and achieving at least the ?good status? of all waters by 2015. A lack of baseline data is potentially critical in terms of future biodiversity monitoring and potential climate change issues. Lough Hyne is a very popular tourist attraction especially during the summer months and the need for confidence in the water quality is obviously of interest with regards to human health. However, concerns over the nutrient input and water quality of the Lough Hyne Marine Reserve have been expressed by academic and government officers (NPWS). Necrotic patches amongst the Jewel anemone Corynactis viridis within the Lough have been reported and this may be a sign of nutrient enrichment or increased sedimentation levels
Supplementary Information
Ohter collaborating authors: Dr Rob McAllen,Dr Tom Kelly, and Prof John O'Halloran,

Comunity analysis conducted with PRIMER6 statistical software. Other statistical analysis used MINITAB. Special thanks to Kevin Barry for production of 2-dimensional hydrodynamic model of Lough Hyne

Pending publications: Jessopp, M., McAllen, R., O?Halloran, J., Kelly, T., & Gregory, S. Top-down and bottom-up processes in structuring phytoplankton assemblages determined using dilution experiments; Jessopp, M., McAllen, R., O?Halloran, J., Kelly, T., & Harman, L The effect of environmental variability on phytoplankton composition and community structure in coastal waters of southwest Ireland
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