Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

Tissue nitrogen and carbon variations in New England estuarineAscophyllum nodosum (L.) Le Jolis populations (Fucales, Phaeophyta)


The seasonal patterns ofAscophyllum nodosum (L.) Le Jolis tissue composition (N, C and ash) and ambient inorganic N were measured for 18 months at seven sites throughout the Great Bay Estuary System, New Hampshire-Maine, U.S.A. Overall, the seasonal cycle of tissue N coincided with ambient dissolved inorganic N, with low values in the late spring and summer and highest values in late fall and winter. even so, a pronounced lag occurred in the spring when ambient nutrients decreased, and the levels of tissue N remained high. The seasonal patterns of tissue N were very similar throughout the estuary, although the spring maxima were conspicuously greater at inner than outer estuarine sites. No conspicuous seasonal trend was apparent for tissue C, and the C/N ratios merely reflected variation in N. The percent ash values were extremely variable, and they did not reflect a simple salinity gradient within the Estuary. Two examples of the potential significance ofAscophyllum to the nitrogen pools in northern New England estuaries are discussed.

Publication Date


Journal Title


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Document Type