Denitrification Capacity of a Natural and a Restored Marsh in the Northern Gulf of Mexico from 2014-02-27 to 2015-02-26 (NCEI Accession 0223379)

Dataset extent

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This dataset includes denitrification rates across a typical northern Gulf of Mexico salt marsh landscape that included a natural marsh, a tidal creek, and a 21-year-old restored salt marsh. Denitrification capacity, measured with the isotope pairing technique on a membrane inlet mass spectrometer, was comparable across the sites despite significant differences in above and below ground characteristics. Total extractable ammonium concentrations and sediment carbon content were higher at the natural marsh compared to the restored marsh. Hydrogen sulfide concentrations were highest at the creek compared to the vegetated sites and lowest at the restored marsh. This suggests that marsh restoration projects reestablish nitrogen removal capacity at rates similar to those in natural systems and can help to significantly reduce nitrogen loads to the coastal ocean.


This dataset on denitrification rates in restored and a nearby natural marsh are used to demonstrate that restored marshes can achieve nitrogen removal capacity that is similar to that natural marshes. This is despite some differences with the lower carbon content and total extractable ammonium and porewater phosphate, and nitrate and hydrogen sulfide concentrations compared to the natural marsh. While not all ecosystem attributes recover at the same rate following restoration, functions like nitrogen removal appear to recover and help with removing nitrogen that would otherwise be exported to nearby coastal waters.

Suggested Citation

Mortazavi, Behzad; Kleinhuizen, Alice (2021). Denitrification Capacity of a Natural and a Restored Marsh in the Northern Gulf of Mexico from 2014-02-27 to 2015-02-26 (NCEI Accession 0223379). [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. Accessed [date].

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Author Behzad Mortazavi
Last Updated October 25, 2022, 19:35 (UTC)
Created July 27, 2022, 21:54 (UTC)
ISO.principalInvestigator Behzad Mortazavi <>
Instrument Keywords CHN Analyzer, GPS, nutrient autoanalyzer, sediment sampler - corer, YSI - handheld multi-parameter instrument, AUTOANALYZER > AUTOANALYZER, CHN ANALYZERS > Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen Analyzers, GPS RECEIVERS > GPS RECEIVERS, SEDIMENT CORERS > SEDIMENT CORERS, 0.25 m2 quadrat, Carlo Erba element analyzer, Core tubes, Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometer, Porewater sipper, Skalar SAN + Autoanalyzer, Trimble NetRS GPS, Triplicate cores (ID 2.6 cm), YSI 556 Multiparameter meter, cut off syringe corer (I.D. 1.3cm)
NCEI Accession 0223379
Temporal Begin 2014-02-27
Temporal End 2015-02-26
Theme Keywords C:N, Carbon content of the sediment as percentage, Chl-a extracted from sediments (mg m-2), D14 (denitrification rates from ambient nitrate) (uM N m-2 hr-1), D15 (denitrification rates from added 15 nitrate isotope) (uM N m-2 hr-1), DNF (Denitrification) Capacity (uM N m-2 hr-1), Dn14 (coupled nitriciation-denitrification) (uM N m-2 hr-1), Dn14 percent of D14, Dried organic biomass above ground (kg m-2), Dried organic biomass belowground in experiment cores to a depth of 20 cm (kg m-2), Dw14 (direct denitrification rates of in situ water column nitrate) (uM N m-2 hr-1), Elevation, NH4 extracted from sediments in nmole g-1 dry sediment, NH4 flux rates (uM N m-2 hr-1), NO3 flux rates (uM N m-2 hr-1), PO4 flux rates (uM N m-2 hr-1), Porewater NH4 at 10 cm depth (micromolar), Porewater NO2 at 10 cm depth (micromolar), Porewater NO3 at 10 cm depth (micromolar), Porewater NOx at 10 cm depth (micromolar), Porewater PO4 at 10 cm depth (micromolar), Porewater Sulfide at 10 cm depth (micromolar), Sample replicates, Sampling site type, Seawater NH4 (micromolar), Seawater NO2 (micromolar), Seawater NO3 (micromolar), Seawater NOx (micromolar), Seawater PO4 (micromolar)
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