Nitrogen (N) cycling in mangroves is complex, with rapid turnover of low dissolved N concentrations, but slow turnover of particulate N. Most N is stored in soils. The largest sources of N are nearly equal amounts of mangrove and benthic microalgal primary production. Dissolved N fluxes between the forests and tidal waters show net uptake, indicating N conservation. N2
-fixation is underestimated as rapid rates measured on tree stems, aboveground roots and cyanobacterial mats cannot currently be accounted for at the whole-forest scale due to their extreme patchiness and the inability to extrapolate beyond a localized area. Net immobilization of NH4+
is the largest ecosystem flux, indicating N retention. Denitrification is the largest loss of N, equating to 35% of total N input. Burial equates to about 29% of total inputs and is the second largest loss of N. Total inputs slightly exceed total outputs, currently suggesting net N balance in mangroves. Mangrove PON export equates to ≈95% of PON export from the world’s tropical rivers, but only 1.5% of the entire world’s river discharge. Mangrove N2
O emissions, denitrification, and burial contribute 0.4%, 0.5–2.0% and 6%, respectively, to the global coastal ocean, which are disproportionate to their small worldwide area.
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