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Biogeochemistry of the benthic zone and implications for marine ecosystems
: Arthur Capet  | : Gennadi Lessin , Andy Dale , Karline Soetaert 
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Benthic systems play an essential role in marine biogeochemical cycles. They delay the response of shallow ecosystems to varying nutrient regimes, alter land inputs to the open ocean through continental shelves and represent the ultimate sink for many elements.

As the specific understanding of marine hydrodynamics and pelagic biogeochemical processes is constantly improving, there is a growing demand to ascertain corresponding understanding of benthic zones, which must be regarded as an integral component of marine ecosystems. A sound integration between biogeochemical, biological and ecological aspects of the benthic ecosystem, considering appropriate levels of complexity and spatio-temporal scales, is required in order to resolve the benthic-pelagic coupling and predict benthic response in the context of global challenges (e.g. provision of food and energy, climate change, pollution issues). Such integrated development can only be achieved through effective interdisciplinary interaction between the modelling, experimental and observational communities.

This session will focus on recent outcomes in the understanding of processes controlling benthic biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem dynamics, implementation of new experimental setups and data collection techniques, novel benthic model developments and efforts addressing the implications of benthic-pelagic coupling at a shelf and basin scale. Contributions related to the following non-exhaustive list of sub-topics are particularly encouraged: lability of benthic organic matter, microscale interactions (e.g. microenvironments, burrows, cable bacteria), microphytobenthic primary production, experimental setups and novel data collection techniques (e.g. fixed benthic observatories, eddy-covariance applications), permeability spectrum, extreme and episodic events and ecosystem recovery, erodability and response to resuspension, diversity of benthic habitats.