Open ocean pelago-benthic coupling: cyanobacteria as tracers of sedimenting salp faeces.

Pfannkuche, Olaf and Lochte, Karin (1993) Open ocean pelago-benthic coupling: cyanobacteria as tracers of sedimenting salp faeces. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 40 (4). pp. 727-737. DOI 10.1016/0967-0637(93)90068-E.

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Coupling between surface water plankton and abyssal benthos was investigated during a mass development of salps (Salpa fusiformis) in the Northeast Atlantic. Cyanobacteria numbers and composition of photosynthetic pigments were determined in faeces of captured salps from surface waters, sediment trap material, detritus from plankton hauls, surface sediments from 4500–4800 m depth and Holothurian gut contents. Cyanobacteria were found in all samples containing salp faeces and also in the guts of deep-sea Holothuria. The ratio between zeaxanthin (typical of cyanobacteria) and sum of chlorophyll a pigments was higher in samples from the deep sea when compared to fresh salp faeces, indicating that this carotenoid persisted longer in the sedimenting material than total chlorophyll a pigments. The microscopic and chemical observations allowed us to trace sedimenting salp faeces from the epipelagial to the abyssal benthos, and demonstrated their role as a fast and direct link between both systems. Cyanobacteria may provide a simple tracer for sedimenting phytodetritus.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BI Biological Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/0967-0637(93)90068-E
ISSN: 0967-0637
Projects: BIOTRANS
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:27
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 23:33

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