Responses of deep-sea benthos to sedimentation patterns in the North-East Atlantic in 1992.

Pfannkuche, Olaf, Boetius, Antje, Lundgreen, U., Lochte, Karin and Thiel, H. (1999) Responses of deep-sea benthos to sedimentation patterns in the North-East Atlantic in 1992. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 46 (4). pp. 573-596. DOI 10.1016/S0967-0637(98)00081-8.

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In an extended deep-sea study the response of the benthic community to seasonally varying sedimentation rates of organic matter were investigated at a fixed abyssal site in the NE Atlantic (BIOTRANS station or JGOFS station L2 at 47°N–20°W, water depth >4500 m) on four legs of METEOR expedition 21 between March and August 1992. The vertical flux at 3500 m depth and temporal variations in the chloroplastic pigment concentration, a measure of phytodetritus deposition, and of total adenylates and total phospholipids, measures of benthic biomass, and of activity of hydrolytic enzymes were observed. The flux patterns in moored sediment traps of total chlorophyll, POC and total flux showed an early sedimentation peak in March/April 1992, followed by low fluxes in May and intermediate ones from June to August. Thus 1992 differed from other years, in which one large flux peak after the spring phytoplankton bloom was observed. Unusually high concentrations of chloroplastic pigments were consistently observed in March 1992, reflecting the early sedimentation input. At the same time biomass of small benthic organisms (bacteria to meiobenthos) and activity of hydrolytic enzymes were higher compared to values from March 1985 and from the following months in 1992. In May and August 1992 pigment concentrations and biomass and activity parameters in the sediment were lower than during previously observed depositions of phytodetrital matter in summer. The data imply that the deep ocean benthic community reacts to small sedimentation events with transient increases in metabolic activity and only small biomass production. The coupling between pelagic and benthic processes is so close that interannual variability in surface water production is “mirrored” by deep-sea benthic processes.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Deep sea: Benthic response; Sedimentation; Seasonal variability; Microorganisms; Extracellular enzymes
Research affiliation: OceanRep > Institute for Marine Science Kiel
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BI Biological Oceanography
OceanRep > Geomar Research Center for Marine Geosciences
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0967-0637(98)00081-8
ISSN: 0967-0637
Projects: BIO-C-FLUX
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 22:09

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