Water column methanotrophy controlled by a rapid oceanographic switch.

Steinle, Lea, Graves, C. A., Treude, Tina , Ferré, B., Biastoch, Arne , Bussmann, I., Berndt, Christian , Krastel, Sebastian, James, R. H., Behrens, E., Böning, Claus W. , Greinert, Jens , Sapart, C.-J., Scheinert, Markus , Sommer, Stefan, Lehmann, A. F. and Niemann, H. (2015) Water column methanotrophy controlled by a rapid oceanographic switch. Nature Geoscience, 8 (5). pp. 378-382. DOI 10.1038/ngeo2420.

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Large amounts of the greenhouse gas methane are released from the seabed to the water column1, where it may be consumed by aerobic methanotrophic bacteria2. The size and activity of methanotrophic communities, which determine
the amount of methane consumed in the water column, are thought to be mainly controlled by nutrient and redox dynamics3–7. Here, we report repeated measurements of methanotrophic activity and community size at methane seeps west of Svalbard, and relate them to physical water
mass properties and modelled ocean currents. We show that cold bottom water, which contained a large number of aerobic methanotrophs, was displaced by warmer water with a considerably smaller methanotrophic community within days.
Ocean current simulations using a global ocean/sea-ice model suggest that this water mass exchange is consistent with short-term variations in the meandering West Spitsbergen
Current. We conclude that the shift from an offshore to a nearshore position of the current can rapidly and severely reduce methanotrophic activity in the water column. Strong fluctuating currents are common at many methane seep systems globally, and we suggest that they affect methane oxidation in the water column at other sites, too.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: The code used for the ORCA12 and VIKING20 models is available on request. - WOS:000353640100015
Keywords: Microbial oxidation of methane, Svalbard, gas hydrates, climate change, water column biogeochemistry; POSEIDON; Maria S. Merian; POS419; MSM21/4; JAGO
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R09
Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems > DeepSea Monitoring
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Projects: Future Ocean
Contribution Number:
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2014 11:19
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2020 13:29
URI: https://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/26577

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