Coupling between phytodetritus deposition and the small-sized benthic biota in the deep Arabian Sea: analysis of biogenic sediment compounds.

Pfannkuche, Olaf, Sommer, Stefan and Kähler, Anja (2000) Coupling between phytodetritus deposition and the small-sized benthic biota in the deep Arabian Sea: analysis of biogenic sediment compounds. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 47 (14). pp. 2805-2833. DOI 10.1016/S0967-0645(00)00050-3.

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As part of the large-scale, interdisciplinary deep-sea study “BIGSET”, the relationship between the monsoon-induced regional and temporal variability of POC deposition and the small-sized benthic community was investigated at several sites 2316–4420 m deep in the Arabian Sea during four cruises between 1995 and 1998. Vertical and horizontal distribution patterns of chloroplastic pigments (a measure of phytodetritus deposition), readily soluble protein and activity, and biomass parameters of the small-sized benthic community (Electron Transport System Activity (ETSA); bacterial ectoenzymatic activity (FDA turnover) and DNA concentrations) were measured concurrently with the vertical fluxes of POC and chloroplastic pigments. Sediment chlorophyll a (chl. a) profiles were used to calculate chl. a flux rates and to estimate POC flux across the sediment water interface using two different transport reaction models. These estimates were compared with corresponding flux rates determined in sediment traps. Regional variability of primary productivity and POC deposition at the deep-sea floor creates a trophic gradient in the Arabian Basin from the NW to the SE, which is primarily related to the activity of monsoon winds and processes associated with the topography of the Arabian Basin and the vicinity of land masses. Inventories of sediment chloroplastic pigments closely corresponded to this trophic gradient. For ETSA, FDA and DNA, however, no clear coupling was found, although stations WAST (western Arabian Sea) and NAST (northern Arabian Sea) were characterised by high concentrations and activities. These parameters exhibited high spatial and temporal variability, making it impossible to recognise clear mechanisms controlling temporal and spatial community patterns of the small-sized benthic biota. Nevertheless, the entire Arabian Basin was recognised as being affected by monsoonal activity. Comparison of two different transport reaction models indicates that labile chl. a buried in deeper sediment layers may escape rapid degradation in Arabian deep-sea sediments.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2020 11:07

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