EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The role of seagrass leaf litter in the SGD-derived nutrient fluxes in Cala Pudent (Menorca, western Mediterranean)

Julia Rodriguez-Puig1, Irene Alorda-Montiel1, Marc Diego-Feliu1, Aaron Alorda-Kleinglass1, Valentí Rodellas1, and Jordi García-Orellana1,2
Julia Rodriguez-Puig et al.
  • 1Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, UAB, Bellaterra, Spain
  • 2Departament de Física, UAB, Bellaterra, Spain

The assessment of the biogeochemical cycles in coastal environments often relies on riverine inputs as the main source of nutrients and other dissolved compounds from land to the ocean. However, the discharge of groundwater through continental margins, commonly known as Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD), is also recognized as relevant sources of nutrients to the coastal ocean, particularly in oligotrophic and semi-arid environments, such as the Mediterranean Sea. In this study, we use radioactive tracers (radium isotopes and radon) to i) quantify the magnitude of SGD-driven nutrient fluxes to a Mediterranean cove (Cala Pudent, Menorca, Balearic Islands) and ii) characterize the nutrient transformations occurring in the beach before groundwater discharges to the sea. Cala Pudent is a limestone coastal cove with a restricted connection to the open sea. In this system, groundwater from a permanent spring infiltrates through an organic substrate dominated by thick deposits of seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) leaf litter and flows into the sea. This substrate, together with the dynamic groundwater-seawater mixing, are chiefly influencing the nutrient enrichment and transformation occurring in the beach and thus modulating the SGD-derived nutrient input to the sea. The ecological implications of these inputs are also assessed, particularly for the Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa meadows located near the study site.  


How to cite: Rodriguez-Puig, J., Alorda-Montiel, I., Diego-Feliu, M., Alorda-Kleinglass, A., Rodellas, V., and García-Orellana, J.: The role of seagrass leaf litter in the SGD-derived nutrient fluxes in Cala Pudent (Menorca, western Mediterranean), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15881,, 2021.