Proceedings of the Texas Academy of Science, 93rd Meeting.
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Excessive nutrient inputs to coastal areas can be the cause for hypoxic events and nuisance algae blooms. Galveston Bay is receiving nutrient inputs mainly from rivers, but also from the atmosphere. Important questions of nutrient and light limitation of algae growth, and of importance of benthic nutrient regeneration in the bay have so far not been addressed. We are reporting here analysis of nutrient concentrations from water samples taken during two Trinity River and Gulf of Mexico transects in August and October 1989. Phosphate concentrations were considerably higher during the warm August month than during the colder October, confirming long-term trends for concentration maxima during the late summer months. Both nitrate and phosphate showed concentration maxima in the intermediate salinity range, likely indicating nutrients regenerated from sediments. The significance of these measurements to our hypothesis of benthic control to elemental cycling in Galveston Bay will be discussed.