d13C and d15N stable isotopes values, total nitrogen and C/N ratios of sediment core GeoB4801-1, supplement to: Serna, Alexandra; Lahajnar, Niko; Pätsch, J; Hebbeln, Dierk; Emeis, Kay-Christian (2014): Organic matter degradation in the German Bight/SE North Sea: Implications from stable nitrogen isotopes and amino acids. Marine Chemistry, 166, 103-113


Rising stable nitrogen isotope ratios (d15N) in dated sediment records of the German Bight/SE North Sea track river-induced coastal eutrophication over the last 2 centuries. Fully exploiting their potential for reconstructions of pristine conditions and quantitative analysis of historical changes in the nitrogen cycle from these sediment records requires knowledge on processes that alter the isotopic signal in non-living organic matter (OM) of sinking particles and sediments. In this study, we analyze the isotopic composition of particulate nitrogen (PN) in the water column during different seasons, in surface sediments, and in sediment cores to assess diagenetic influences on the isotopic composition of OM. Amino acid (AA) compositions of suspended matter, surface sediments, and dated cores at selected sites of the German Bight serve as indicators for quality and degradation state of PN. The d15N of PN in suspended matter had seasonal variances caused by two main nitrate sources (oceanic and river) and different stages of nitrate availability during phytoplankton assimilation. Elevated d15N values (> 20 per mil) in suspended matter near river mouths and the coast coincide with a coastal water mass receiving nitrate with elevated isotope signal (d15N > 10 per mil) derived from anthropogenic input. Particulate nitrogen at offshore sites fed by oceanic nitrate having a d15N between 5 and 6 per mil had low d15N values (< 2 per mil), indicative of an incipient phytoplankton bloom. Surface sediments along an offshore-onshore transect also reflect the gradient of low d15N of nitrate in offshore sites to high values near river mouths, but the range of values is smaller than between the end members listed above and integrates the annual d15N of detritus. Sediment cores from the coastal sector of the gradient show an increasing d15N trend (increase of 2.5 per mil) over the last 150 years. This is not related to any change in AA composition and thus reflects eutrophication. The d15N signals from before AD 1860 represent a good estimation of pre-industrial isotopic compositions with minimal diagenetic overprinting. Rising d13C in step with rising d15N in these cores is best explained by increasing productivity caused by eutrophication.

DOI http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.843077
Metadata Access http://ws.pangaea.de/oai/provider?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=datacite3&identifier=oai:pangaea.de:doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.843077
Creator Lahajnar, Niko;Serna, Alexandra;Pätsch, J;Emeis, Kay-Christian;Hebbeln, Dierk
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 2014
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC-BY)
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (54N,8 E)
Temporal Point 1997-10-18T11:59:59Z