Dissolved organic matter and its utilisation by bacteria during spring in the Southern Ocean.

Kähler, Paul, Bjoernsen, P.K., Lochte, Karin and Antia, Avan (1997) Dissolved organic matter and its utilisation by bacteria during spring in the Southern Ocean. Deep-Sea Research Part II-Topical Studies in Oceanography, 44 (1-2). pp. 341-354. DOI 10.1016/S0967-0645(96)00071-9.

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Abstract

Concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) were measured during early austral Spring 1992 at a number of stations along the 6°W meridian between 47° and 60°S. This included the Polar Front in the north, the zone of melting sea-ice in the south, and waters of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current in between. Concentrations of DOC were low in deep water (34–38 μM) with generally similar or slightly higher values in the surface mixed layer (38–55 μM). DOC:DON ratios are wider in surface water than in deep water, i.e. surface accumulations contain relatively C-rich dissolved organic matter. The highly variable distribution of the surface DOC was not related to hydrographic or biotic features (fronts, plankton development) indicating the lability and transient occurrence of this material.
Growth rates of bacteria were determined in subsamples from 51 0.8-μm-filtered batches of seawater incubated in the dark at in-situ temperature. Thymidine and leucine uptake and bacterial biomass change as well as changes in dissolved organic carbon in the batches, and oxygen consumption in parallel incubations correlated linearly over 2 weeks of incubation which allowed extrapolation to in-situ conditions.
Bacterial growth in these experiments depended strongly on the amount of initial DOC. Growth in water from greater depth (1000 m) containing 38 μM DOC was minimal, as were DOC-decrease and oxygen consumption. Higher rates were observed in surface water slightly enriched with DOC, and highest rates in surface water amended with DOC-rich melted sea ice. Bacterial growth efficiencies (biomass C-increase vs DOC consumed) were about 30%. The experiments showed that at least 40–60% of the DOC in excess of deep water concentrations was available to bacteria.

Document Type: Article
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0967-0645(96)00071-9
ISSN: 0967-0645
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2009 11:14
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2016 13:08
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/1339

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