Impact of Crab Bioturbation on Nitrogen-Fixation Rates in Red Sea Mangrove Sediment

  • Maryam S. Qashqari

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Mangrove plants are a productive ecosystem that provide several benefits for marine organisms and industry. They are considered to be a food source and habitat for many organisms. However, mangrove growth is limited by nutrient availability. According to some recent studies, the dwarfism of the mangrove plants is due to the limitation of nitrogen in the environment. Biological nitrogen fixation is the process by which atmospheric nitrogen is fixed into ammonium. Then, this fixed nitrogen can be uptaken by plants. Hence, biological nitrogen fixation increases the input of nitrogen in the mangrove ecosystem. In this project, we focus on measuring the rates of nitrogen fixation on Red Sea mangrove (Avicennia marina) located at Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. The nitrogen fixation rates are calculated by the acetylene reduction assay. The experimental setup will allow us to analyze the effect of crab bioturbation on nitrogen fixing rates. This study will help to better understand the nitrogen dynamics in mangrove ecosystems in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, this study points out the importance of the sediment microbial community in mangrove trees development. Finally, the role of nitrogen fixing bacteria should be taken in account for future restoration activities.
Date of AwardMay 2017
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorCarlos Duarte (Supervisor)


  • Mangrove
  • Avicennia marina
  • Nitrogen-Fixation
  • Crab Bioturbation
  • Red Sea

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