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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:RESEARCH FOUNDATION FOR THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, THE
Doing Business As Name:SUNY at Stony Brook
PD/PI:
  • Robert C Aller
  • (631) 632-8746
  • robert.aller@stonybrook.edu
Co-PD(s)/co-PI(s):
  • Qingzhi Zhu
  • Josephine Aller
Award Date:03/25/2009
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 997,600
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 997,600
  • FY 2009=$997,600
Start Date:04/01/2009
End Date:03/31/2013
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:The effects of animal-sediment interactions on biogeochemical processes at the sediment -water interface
Federal Award ID Number:0851207
DUNS ID:804878247
Parent DUNS ID:020657151
Program:Chemical Oceanography

Awardee Location

Street:WEST 5510 FRK MEL LIB
City:Stony Brook
State:NY
ZIP:11794-0001
County:Stony Brook
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:SUNY at Stony Brook
Street:WEST 5510 FRK MEL LIB
City:Stony Brook
State:NY
ZIP:11794-0001
County:Stony Brook
Country:US
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

Diagenetic processes in sedimentary deposits play a central role in the cycling and burial of biogeochemically reactive elements. The activities of marine bottom-dwelling animals dramatically impact early diagenesis, altering material transport and reaction distributions in surface sediments and sediment-water exchange over much of the seafloor. In this project, researchers at the State University of New York at Stony Brook will continue to examine, conceptualize, and quantify specific aspects of these biogenic effects on biogeochemical cycles using newly developed optical sensors and models, and will do so within the context of syn- and autecological characteristics of benthos. Feeding, burrowing, and the irrigation of biogenic structures create complex, time-dependent networks of oxic and anoxic microenvironments. The scaling and macro-geometrical patterns of these biogenic microenvironments determine absolute and relative rates of remineralization pathways, microbial abundances and activities, the coupling between reactions such as sulfate reduction/sulfide oxidation or carbonate dissolution - precipitation, and elemental burial. Such biogenic heterogeneity is virtually impossible to accurately measure or quantify by traditional methods. A set of planar optical sensors designed to measure pH, pCO2, O2 , H2S, simultaneous H2S / O2, and Fe2+ at high resolution (~50 - 100 ìm) in single 2-D images over areas of ~ 100 - 300 cm2 were developed as part of recently funded research, and will be further optimized and applied. The ongoing development of new exoenzyme and Ca2+ sensors will be completed. These sensors will be used to directly investigate three-dimensional solute distributions produced by functionally distinct infauna in laboratory microcosms, and in natural communities in situ, using sediment profiling cameras designed for use with planar optodes. Building on previous microcosm experiments with Nephtys incisa, the effects of selected additional individual species and mixtures of functional types will be examined at multiple densities and constant biomass or biovolume. Biogenic structure and associated remineralization rate patterns will be quantified and hypotheses regarding scaling ? redox reaction relationships tested. Direct measures of microbial activity around biogenic structures will be guided by the optically sensed patterns. Diffusion-reaction cells designed to simulate the effect of irrigated burrows at multiple scales will be used together with optical sensors to examine transient and pseudo-steady redox reaction balances and microbial activity as a function of diffusive transport scale for comparison with natural structures of similar scale. The composition, structure, and degradation patterns of representative macrofaunal tube materials, which represent a significant but understudied pathway of sedimentary C, N, P, and metal cycling, will be examined in laboratory and field experiments. Experimental results will be incorporated into integrative conceptual and mathematical models. Broader Impacts: The present research will advance predictive, mechanistic-based understanding of interactions between benthic communities and sediment chemistry, their effect on biogeochemical cycles of societal importance, and the fate of pollutants. The further development and optimization of planar optical sensors integrated with biogeochemical applications will substantially improve the basis for conceptual and quantitative models of early diagenesis, aid experimental design, and extend capacity for practical in situ monitoring of biogeochemical processes for management purposes. Agricultural and soil research may also benefit from planar sensor applications. These capabilities will continue to be promoted and shared through interdisciplinary collaborations. Real time optical sensor images also provide an effective means to communicate the dynamics and importance of benthic biogeochemical processes, and to engage nonspecialists. Planar optode sensor images and in situ Chem-SPI systems will be incorporated as educational and research tools and will also be used as a way to raise general awareness about benthic processes in public forums. Graduate and undergraduate education and technical training will continue to be intimately integrated with laboratory and field research. Results will be presented at national and international meetings, and in peer-reviewed international scientific journals.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Przeslawski, R; Zhu, Q; Aller, R "Effects of abiotic stressors on infaunal burrowing and associated sediment characteristics" MARINE ECOLOGY-PROGRESS SERIES, v.392, 2009, p.33. doi:10.3354/meps0822  View record at Web of Science

Blair, N.E. and Aller, R.C. "The fate of terrestrial organic carbon in the marine environment." Annual Review of Marine Sciences, v.4, 2012, p.401-423.

Michaud, E.; Aller, R. C.; Stora, G. "Sedimentary organic matter distributions, burrowing activity and biogeochemical cycling: natural patterns and experimental artifacts" Estuarine Coastal Shelf Science, v.90, 2010, p.21.

Fan, Y.; Zhu, Q.; Aller, R.C.; Rhoads, D.C. "An in situ multispectral imaging system for planar optodes in sediments: examples of high resolution seasonal patterns of pH" Aquatic Geochemistry, v.17, 2011, p.457.

Cao, Z.; Zhu, Q.; Aller, R.C.; Aller, J.Y. "A fluorosensor for two-dimensional in situ measurements of extracellular enzyme activity in marine sediments" Marine Chemistry, v.123, 2011, p.23.

Zhu, Q.Z., and Aller, R.C. "Two-dimensional dissolved ferrous iron distributions in marine sediments as revealed by a novel planar optical sensor." Mar. Chem., v.136, 2012, p.14-23.

Aller, R. C.; Madrid, V.; Chistoserdov, A.; Aller, J.Y.; Mak, J. "Unsteady diagenetic processes and sulfur biogeochemistry in tropical deltaic muds: implications for oceanic isotope cycles and the sedimentary record." Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, v.74, 2010, p.4671.

Zhu, Q.; Aller, R. "A rapid response planar fluorosensor for 2-dimensional pCO2 distributions and dynamics in marine sediments" Limnology and Oceanography Methods, v.8, 2010, p.32.

Soto-Neira, J.; Zhu, Q.; Aller, R. "A new spectrophotometric method to quantify dissolved manganese in marine pore waters." Marine Chemistry, v.127, 2011, p.56.

Wang, D.; Aller, R.C; Sanudo-Wilhelmy,S. "Redox speciation and early diagenetic behavior of dissolved Molybdenum in sulfidic muds" Marine Chemistry, v.125, 2011, p.101.

Zhu, Q.Z., Aller, R.C., Kaushik, A. "Analysis of vitamin B-12 in seawater and marine sediment porewater using ELISA." Limnol. Oceanogr. Methods, v.9, 2011, p.515-523.

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