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Title: Composição e acumulação da matéria orgânica (C, N, Ligninas) nos sedimentos do sistema lagunar Mundaú-Manguaba, AL-Brasil.
Keywords: Matéria orgânica;  Razão C/N;  Isótopos de carbono;  Ligninas;  Lagunas costeiras;  Organic matter;  C/N ratio;  Carbon isotopes;  Lignins;  Coastal lagoons
Issue Date: 11-Mar-2010
Abstract: The Mundaú-Manguaba Estuarine-Lagoon System (MMELS), located in northeastern Brazil, has been undergoing a continuous process of environmental degradation, mainly related to the input of effluents from the sugar-cane industry and uncontrolled demographic expansion. Geochemical tracers have been an effective tool in determining allochthonous and autochtonous sources of organic matter in sediments. They have been applied to identify possible sources of pollution produced by human activities and natural changes in the environment. In this context, this study aimed to identify the origin, transformations and recent accumulation of organic matter in the sediments of MMELS. Five short cores, two representing each lagoon and one the fluvial end-member (Mundaú River), were analyzed for the vertical distribution of clay, silt and sand, organic carbon, the C/N ratio, 13C and lignins. The parameters showed that the sedimentary organic matter in the lagoons originated largely from its own phytoplanktonic primary production. However, the presence of lignin, albeit at low concentrations, indicated the presence of allochthonous plant material. In Mundaú River the presence of material derived from woody angiosperms was evident, while the lagoons exhibited a mixture of woody and non-woody materials, without a clear distributional pattern along the vertical profiles. The (Ad/Al)v ratios showed that the lignins were subject to a certain degree of degradation, contributing to a possible reduction in their total concentration and changes in the lignin-phenol S/V and C/V ratios. The application of the LPVI index (Lignin-Phenol Vegetation Index) for lignin-phenols allowed for a better understanding on the evolution of terrestrial material sources to the system, with a clear transition from woody angiosperms, representing the original vegetation in the drainage basin, to non-woody angiosperms, corroborating the expansion of sugar cane cultivation in the region. In addition, the results of organic matter accumulation in the lagoon s sediments showed an increase of primary productivity in the more recent layers at the top of the cores, likely reflecting the effects of agricultural and urban expansion in MMELS.
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