Size-fractionated dissolved primary production and carbohydrate composition of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi.

Borchard, Corinna and Engel, Anja (2015) Size-fractionated dissolved primary production and carbohydrate composition of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi. Open Access Biogeosciences (BG), 12 . pp. 1271-1284. DOI 10.5194/bg-12-1271-2015.

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Abstract

Extracellular release (ER) by phytoplankton is the major source of fresh dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in marine ecosystems and accompanies primary production during all growth phases. Little is known, so far, on size and composition of released molecules, and to which extent ER occurs passively, by leakage, or actively, by exudation. Here, we report on ER by the widespread and bloom-forming coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi grown under steady state conditions in phosphorus controlled chemostats (N : P = 29, growth rate of μ = 0.2 d−1). 14C incubations were accomplished to determine primary production (PP), comprised by particulate (PO14C) and dissolved organic carbon (DO14C), and the concentration and composition of particulate combined carbohydrates (pCCHO), and of high molecular weight (>1 kDa, HMW) dissolved combined carbohydrates (dCCHO) as major components of ER. Information on size distribution of ER products was obtained by investigating distinct size classes (<0.40 μm, <1000 kDa, <100 kDa and <10 kDa) of DO14C and HMW-dCCHO. Our results revealed relatively low ER during steady state growth, corresponding to ∼4.5% of primary production, and similar ER rates for all size classes. Acidic sugars had a significant share on freshly produced pCCHO as well as on HMW-dCCHO. While pCCHO and the smallest size (<10 kDa) fraction of HMW-dCCHO exhibited a similar sugar composition, dominated by high percentages of glucose (74–80 Mol%), the composition of HMW-dCCHO size-classes >10 kDa was significantly different with higher Mol% of arabinose. Mol% of acidic sugars increased and Mol% glucose decreased with increasing size of HMW-dCCHO. We conclude that larger polysaccharides follow different production and release pathways than smaller molecules, potentially serving distinct ecological and biogeochemical functions.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 754
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BI Biological Oceanography
OceanRep > SFB 754 > B9
AWI
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.5194/bg-12-1271-2015
ISSN: 1726-4170
Projects: SFB754, ADAGIO
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2014 08:44
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:45
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/25947

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