An approach for particle sinking velocity measurements in the 3–400 μm size range and considerations on the effect of temperature on sinking rates

Bach, Lennart T., Riebesell, Ulf, Sett, Scarlett, Febiri, Sarah, Rzepka, Paul and Schulz, Kai G. (2012) An approach for particle sinking velocity measurements in the 3–400 μm size range and considerations on the effect of temperature on sinking rates Marine Biology, 159 (8). pp. 1853-1864. DOI 10.1007/s00227-012-1945-2.

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Abstract

The flux of organic particles below the mixed layer is one major pathway of carbon from the surface into the deep ocean. The magnitude of this export flux depends on two major processes—remineralization rates and sinking velocities. Here, we present an efficient method to measure sinking velocities of particles in the size range from approximately 3–400 μm by means of video microscopy (FlowCAM®). The method allows rapid measurement and automated analysis of mixed samples and was tested with polystyrene beads, different phytoplankton species, and sediment trap material. Sinking velocities of polystyrene beads were close to theoretical values calculated from Stokes’ Law. Sinking velocities of the investigated phytoplankton species were in reasonable agreement with published literature values and sinking velocities of material collected in sediment trap increased with particle size. Temperature had a strong effect on sinking velocities due to its influence on seawater viscosity and density. An increase in 9 °C led to a measured increase in sinking velocities of ~40 %. According to this temperature effect, an average temperature increase in 2 °C as projected for the sea surface by the end of this century could increase sinking velocities by about 6 % which might have feedbacks on carbon export into the deep ocean.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000306731300020
Keywords: COPEPOD FECAL PELLETS; ORGANIC-CARBON FLUXES; EMILIANIA-HUXLEYI; RESPIRATION RATES; BALLAST MINERALS; NATURAL COPEPOD; MARINE DIATOMS; PHYTOPLANKTON; OCEAN; ATLANTIC
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BI Biological Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00227-012-1945-2
ISSN: 0025-3162
Related URLs:
Projects: BIOACID
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2012 10:45
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 11:02
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/15099

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