Ulrike Braeckman

Ulrike Braeckman
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Biology

PhD in Biology

About

88
Publications
20,435
Reads
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Introduction
FEDtWIN researcher in marine ecology and biogeochemistry intrigued by the effects of environmental change on carbon and nutrient cycling in benthic communities and the food web they belong to. Study sites include Arctic and Antarctic shelf seas under rapid climate change and the heavily used North Sea (with effects of Offshore Windfarm developments in particular). Affiliated with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) and Ghent University.
Additional affiliations
October 2019 - present
Ghent University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Fate of carbon in Antarctic fjords under increased glacial melt impact
October 2015 - September 2019
Ghent University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Understanding the influence of benthic biodiversity on biogeochemical cycling in polar marine ecosystems subject to rapid climate change
October 2013 - November 2015
Ghent University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • collaboration with MPI for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany

Publications

Publications (88)
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Working Group on Fisheries Benthic Impact and Trade-offs (WGFBIT) develops methods and performs assessments to evaluate benthic impact from fisheries at regional scale, while con- sidering fisheries and seabed impact trade-offs. In this report, new fishery benthic impact assessments are carried out for several sub-regions in the Mediterranean (...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the influence of high‐CO2 hydrothermal seepage on element cycling, early diagenetic processes, and meiobenthic communities in sediments of a coral reef in Papua New Guinea. Based on fluid flow velocities, determined from temperature gradients, and element concentrations, the solute fluxes from the seeps were estimated, showing that...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The aim of the Working Group on Marine Benthal and Renewable Energy Developments (WGMBRED) is to increase scientific exchange and efficiency of benthal renewable energy related research. In 2019–2021, the group discussed guidelines for data collection and methodologies and developed an integrated example dataset on benthos data of marine renewable...
Article
Full-text available
Offshore windfarms (OWFs) offer part of the solution for the energy transition which is urgently needed to mitigate effects of climate change. Marine life has rapidly exploited the new habitat offered by windfarm structures, resulting in increased opportunities for filter- and suspension feeding organisms. In this study, we investigated the effects...
Article
Full-text available
Bottom trawling in shelf seas can occur more than 10 times per year for a given location. This affects the benthic metabolism, through a mortality of the macrofauna, resuspension of organic matter from the sediment, and alterations of the physical sediment structure. However, the trawling impacts on organic carbon mineralization and associated proc...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change-induced glacial melt affects benthic ecosystems along the West Antarctic Peninsula, but current understanding of the effects on benthic primary production and respiration is limited. Here we demonstrate with a series of in situ community metabolism measurements that climate-related glacial melt disturbance shifts benthic communities...
Article
Ecosystem functions are driven by abiotic and biotic factors, but due to high collinearity of both, it is often difficult to disentangle the drivers of these ecosystem functions. We studied sedimentological and faunal controls of benthic organic matter mineralization, a crucial ecosystem process provided for by sediments of shelf seas. Subtidal ben...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal shelf seas are zones of intense nutrient cycling, where a strong coupling between the sediment and the water column enhances primary productivity. To identify factors that control the strength of this benthic-pelagic coupling we measured sediment characteristics, solute fluxes, and porewater nutrient profiles in spring along a south - north...
Preprint
Full-text available
Bottom trawling in shelf seas can occur more than 10 times per year for a given location. This affects the benthic metabolism, through a mortality of the macrofauna, resuspension of organic matter from the sediment, and alterations of the physical sediment structure. However, the trawling impacts on organic carbon mineralization and associated proc...
Article
The installation of offshore wind farms (OWFs) adds artificial hard substrates into naturally soft-bottom areas, changing the local biodiversity. The turbine foundations are rapidly colonized by colonizing organisms, mainly consisting of suspension feeders that can potentially reduce the local primary producer standing stock. In this study, we esti...
Article
Full-text available
Bioirrigation, the exchange of solutes between overlying water and sediment by benthic organisms, plays an important role in sediment biogeochemistry. Bioirrigation either is quantified based on tracer data or a community (bio)irrigation potential (IPc) can be derived based on biological traits. Both these techniques were applied in a seasonal stud...
Article
Bioturbation is one of the key mediators of biogeochemical processes in benthic habitats that can have a high contribution to seafloor functioning and benthic pelagic coupling in coastal waters. Previous studies on bio-turbation were limited to point locations and extrapolations in single regions, but have not accounted for regional differences und...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Bio-irrigation, the exchange of solutes between overlying water and sediment by benthic organisms, plays an important role in sediment biogeochemistry. Quantification of bio-irrigation is done either through measurements with tracers, or more recently, using biological traits to derive the community (bio-) irrigation potential (IPc). Both...
Article
Full-text available
The Antarctic Peninsula experiences a fast retreat of glaciers, which results in an increased release of particles and sedimentation and, thus, a decrease in the available photosynthetic active radiation (PAR, 400–700 nm) for benthic primary production. In this study, we investigated how changes in the general sedimentation and shading patterns aff...
Article
Full-text available
Glaciers along the western Antarctic Peninsula are retreating at unprecedented rates, opening up sublittoral rocky substrate for colonization by marine organisms such as macroalgae. When macroalgae are physically detached due to storms or erosion, their fragments can accumulate in seabed hollows, where they can be grazed upon by herbivores or be de...
Article
Full-text available
Measurements of biogeochemical fluxes at the sediment–water interface are essential to investigate organic matter mineralization processes but are rarely performed in shallow coastal areas of the Antarctic. We investigated biogeochemical fluxes across the sediment–water interface in Potter Cove (King George Island/Isla 25 de Mayo) at water depths b...
Data
Photos of brownish microphytobenthic (MPB) mats at Faro, Creek and Isla D. The photos demonstrate the occurrence of MPB in Potter Cove. (TIF)
Data
Sediment reworking (Mi) and mobility (Ri) scores for the macrofauna community in Potter Cove in order to calculate the bioturbation potential [46]. Scores were assigned for the lowest possible taxonomic level (Order, Family or Genus). Mi score scale: 1 for organisms that live in fixed tubes, 2 indicates limited movement, 3 indicates slow, free move...
Data
P-values of the Levene's test and Student's t-test, comparing TOUs from black and transparent chamber incubations. (PDF)
Data
Sediment depth across the diffusive nutrient flux was calculated. The basis for the diffusive flux calculation was the change in the nutrient concentration over depth. All calculations started at the -0.5 cm depth, which is the bottom water concentration, and were calculated across the sediment depth given in the table, despite the nitrite influx,...
Data
Measured mean values ± SD of sediment, biogenic, benthic community and flux parameters. N is given in brackets. The letters a, b, c indicate significant differences (p<0.05) of a parameter between the locations, while NS indicates no significant differences. Furthermore, the p-values of the Shapiro─Wilk test, the Levene's test, ANOVA and Kruskal-Wa...
Data
Nutrient concentration profiles from pore water extractions. (TIFF)
Article
Full-text available
In the Arctic Ocean, increased sea surface temperature and sea ice retreat have triggered shifts in phytoplankton communities. In Fram Strait, coccolithophorids have been occasionally observed to replace diatoms as the dominating taxon of spring blooms. Deep-sea benthic communities depend strongly on such blooms, but with a change in quality and qu...
Article
Full-text available
In the Arctic Ocean, increased sea surface temperature and sea ice retreat have triggered shifts in phytoplankton communities. In Fram Strait, coccolithophorids have been occasionally observed to replace diatoms as the dominating taxon of spring blooms. Deep-sea benthic communities depend strongly on such blooms but with a change in quality and qua...
Article
Full-text available
Arctic Ocean surface sea-ice conditions are linked with the deep sea benthic oxygen fluxes via a cascade of interdependencies across ecosystem components such as primary production, food supply, activity of the benthic community, and their functions. Additionally, each ecosystem component is influenced by abiotic factors such as light availability,...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities, among which dredging and land use change in river basins, are altering estuarine ecosystems. These activities may result in changes in sedimentary processes, affecting biodiversity of sediment macrofauna. As macrofauna controls sediment chemistry and fluxes of energy and matter between water column and sediment, changes in the str...
Article
Full-text available
Arctic Ocean surface sea-ice conditions are linked with the deep sea benthic oxygen fluxes via a cascade of dependencies across ecosystem components like primary production, food supply, the activity of the benthic community, and their functions. Additionally, each of the ecosystem components is influenced by abiotic factors like light availability...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human activities, among which dredging and land use change in river basins, are altering estuarine ecosystems. These activities may result in changes in sedimentary processes, affecting biodiversity of sediment macrofauna. As macrofauna control sediment chemistry and fluxes of energy and matter between water column and sediment, changes in the stru...
Article
Full-text available
It has been previously proposed that alkalinity release from sediments can play an important role in the carbonate dynamics on continental shelves, lowering the pCO2 of seawater and hence increasing the CO2 uptake from the atmosphere. To test this hypothesis, sedimentary alkalinity generation was quantified within cohesive and permeable sediments a...
Article
Ecosystem engineers can considerably affect the community composition, abundance and species richness of their environment. This study investigates the existence of positive or negative feedbacks of species that compose the community in intertidal biogenic reefs constructed by the ecosystem engineer Lanice conchilega. This tubeworm creates attracti...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The marine benthic nitrogen cycle is affected by both the presence and activity of macrofauna and the diversity of N-cycling microbes. However, integrated research simultaneously investigating macrofauna, microbes and N-cycling is lacking. We investigated spatio-temporal patterns in microbial community composition and diversity, macrofau...
Article
We investigated the temporal variation of pelagic and benthic food sources in the diet of benthic taxa at a depositional site in the Southern Bight of the North Sea by means of fatty acid (FA) biomarkers and compound-specific stable isotope analysis (CSIA). The taxa were the non-selective deposit feeding nematodes (Sabatieria spp. and 'other nemato...
Article
There is growing evidence that climate change could affect marine benthic systems. This review provides information of climate change-related impacts on the marine benthos in the North Atlantic. We cover a number of related research aspects, mainly in connection to two key issues. First, is the relationship between different physical aspects of cli...
Article
Full-text available
Research so far has provided little evidence that benthic biogeochemical cycling is affected by ocean acidification under realistic climate change scenarios. We measured nutrient exchange and sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC) rates to estimate nitrification in natural coastal permeable and fine sandy sediments under pre-phytoplankton blo...
Article
Full-text available
The West Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth. Faster glacier retreat and related calving events lead to more frequent iceberg scouring, fresh water input and higher sediment loads, which in turn affect shallow water benthic marine assemblages in coastal regions. In addition, ice retreat creates new benthic substrates...
Article
The responses of nematode communities to short-term hypoxia (1 and 7 days) were investigated in three North Sea stations with different sediment types (coarse silt, fine sand and medium sand). In the field, nematode density, diversity, vertical distribution and community structure differ among the stations. In the laboratory, oxic and hypoxic treat...
Article
Full-text available
1. Biodiversity conservation often focuses on threatened or rare species. While this structural asset of biodiversity is indeed important, the functional diversity aspect has to be considered as an even more important criterion for marine management and conservation. This paper explores the use of functionally important ecosystem engineers in North...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal marine systems are currently subject to a variety of anthropogenic and climate-change induced pressures. An important challenge is to predict how marine sediment communities and benthic biogeochemical cycling will be affected by these ongoing changes. To this end, it is of paramount importance to first better understand the natural variabil...
Data
Research so far has provided little evidence that benthic biogeochemical cycling is affected by ocean acidification under realistic climate change scenarios. We measured nutrient exchange and sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC) rates to estimate nitrification in natural coastal permeable and fine sandy sediments under pre-phytoplankton blo...
Article
Full-text available
Oxygen is recognized as a structuring factor of metazoan communities in marine sediments. The importance of oxygen as a controlling factor on meiofauna (32 µm-1 mm in size) respiration rates is however less clear. Typically, respiration rates are measured under oxic conditions, after which these rates are used in food web studies to quantify the ro...
Article
Intensive exploitation of the marine environment by mankind can alter the natural habitat of marine organisms drastically. The addition of artificial hard substrates (e.g. shipwrecks and wind turbine foundations) to soft-sediment sandy bottoms is a pervasive example of an anthropogenic habitat change. To investigate the importance of hard substrate...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the effects of experimentally manipulated seawater carbonate chemistry on several early life history processes of the Baltic tellin (Macoma balthica), a widely distributed bivalve that plays a critical role in the functioning of many coastal habitats. We demonstrate that ocean acidification significantly depresses fertilizat...
Data
Environmental parameters and carbonate chemistry for the different treatments to investigate ocean acidification effects on fertilization success. Carbonate parameters were computed from the recorded seawater pHNBS and Total Alkalinity during the incubations. - : no data available. (XLSX)