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Title: Kaneohe Bay Sewage Diversion Experiment: Perspectives on Ecosystem Responses to Nutritional Perturbation 
Author: Smith, Stephen V.; Kimmerer, William J.; Laws, Edward A.; Brock, Richard E.; Walsh, Ted W.
Date: 1981-10
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Smith SV, Kimmerer WJ, Laws EA, Brock RE, Walsh TW. 1981. Kaneohe Bay sewage diversion experiment: perspectives on ecosystem responses to nutritional perturbation. Pac Sci 35(4): 279-395.
Abstract: Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, received increasing amounts of sewage
from the 1950s through 1977. Most sewage was diverted from the bay in 1977
and early 1978. This investigation, begun in January 1976 and continued
through August 1979, described the bay over that period, with particular
reference to the responses of the ecosystem to sewage diversion.
The sewage was a nutritional subsidy. All of the inorganic nitrogen and
most of the inorganic phosphorus introduced into the ecosystem were taken
up biologically before being advected from the bay. The major uptake was by
phytoplankton, and the internal water-column cycle between dissolved nutrients,
phytoplankton, zooplankton, microheterotrophs, and detritus supported
a rate of productivity far exceeding the rate of nutrient loading.
These water-column particles were partly washed out of the ecosystem and
partly sedimented and became available to the benthos. The primary benthic
response to nutrient loading was a large buildup of detritivorous heterotrophic
biomass. Cycling of nutrients among heterotrophs, autotrophs, detritus, and
inorganic nutrients was important.
With sewage diversion, the biomass of both plankton and benthos decreased
rapidly. Benthic biological composition has not yet returned to presewage
conditions, partly because some key organisms are long-lived and partly
because the bay substratum has been perturbed by both the sewage and other
human influences.
ISSN: 0030-8870

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