Biogeochemical relationships between ultrafiltered dissolved organic matter and picoplankton activity in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

Travis B. Meador, Alexandra Gogou, Georgina Spyres, Gerhard Herndl, Evangelia Krasakopoulou, Stella Psarra, Taichi Yokokawa, Daniele De Corte, Vassilis Zervakis, Daniel J. Repeta

We targeted the warm, subsurface waters of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS) to investigate processes that are linked to the chemical composition and cycling of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in seawater. The apparent respiration of semi-labile DOC accounted for 27 +/- 18% of oxygen consumption in EMS mesopelagic and bathypelagic waters; this value is higher than that observed in the bathypelagic open ocean, so the chemical signals that accompany remineralization of DOC may thus be more pronounced in this region. Ultrafiltered dissolved organic matter (UDOM) collected from four deep basins at depths ranging from 2 to 4350 m exhibited bulk chemical (H-1-NMR) and molecular level (amino acid and monosaccharide) abundances, composition, and spatial distribution that were similar to previous reports, except for a sample collected in the deep waters of the N. Aegean Sea that had been isolated for over a decade. The amino acid component of UDOM was tightly correlated with apparent oxygen utilization and prokaryotic activity, indicating its relationship with remineralization processes that occur over a large range of timescales. Principal component analyses of relative mole percentages of monomers revealed that oxygen consumption and prokaryotic activity were correlated with variability in amino acid distributions but not well correlated with monosaccharide distributions. Taken together, this study elucidates key relationships between the chemical composition of DOM and heterotrophic metabolism.

External organisation(s)
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, University of the Aegean
Deep-Sea Research. Part 2: Topical Studies in Oceanography
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Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106022 Microbiology, 106047 Animal ecology
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