Role of macroscopic particles in deep-sea oxygen consumption

Author(s)
Alexander B. Bochdansky, Hendrik M. van Aken, Gerhard Herndl
Abstract

Macroscopic particles (> 500 mu m), including marine snow, large migrating zooplankton, and their fast-sinking fecal pellets, represent primary vehicles of organic carbon flux from the surface to the deep sea. In contrast, freely suspended microscopic particles such as bacteria and protists do not sink, and they contribute the largest portion of metabolism in the upper ocean. In bathy- and abyssopelagic layers of the ocean (2,000-6,000 m), however, microscopic particles may not dominate oxygen consumption. In a section across the tropical Atlantic, we show that macroscopic particle peaks occurred frequently in the deep sea, whereas microscopic particles were barely detectable. In 10 of 17 deep-sea profiles (> 2,000 m depth), macroscopic particle abundances were more strongly cross-correlated with oxygen deficits than microscopic particles, suggesting that biomass bound to large particles dominates overall deep-sea metabolism.

Organisation(s)
External organisation(s)
Old Dominion University, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Volume
107
Pages
8287-8291
No. of pages
5
ISSN
0027-8424
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0913744107
Publication date
2010
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106022 Microbiology, 106047 Animal ecology
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/role-of-macroscopic-particles-in-deepsea-oxygen-consumption(beafca11-0d20-4f37-b956-9008981185b1).html