Deep-Sea Bioluminescence Blooms after Dense Water Formation at the Ocean Surface

Christian Tamburini, Miquel Canals, Xavier Durrieu De Madron, Loic Houpert, Dominique Lef??vre, S??verine Martini, Fabrizio D'ortenzio, Anne Robert, Pierre Testor, Juan Antonio Aguilar, Imen Al Samarai, Arnaud Albert, Michel Andr??, Marco Anghinolfi, Gisela Anton, Shebli Anvar, Miguel Ardid, Ana Carolina Assis Jesus, Tri L. Astraatmadja, Jean-jacques AubertBruny Baret, St??phane Basa, Vincent Bertin, Simone Biagi, Armando Bigi, Ciro Bigongiari, Claudio Bogazzi, Manuel Bou-cabo, Boutayeb Bouhou, Mieke C. Bouwhuis, Jurgen Brunner, Jos?? Busto, Francisco Camarena, Antonio Capone, Christina C??rloganu, Giada Carminati, John Carr, Stefano Cecchini, Ziad Charif, Philippe Charvis, Tommaso Chiarusi, Marco Circella, Rosa Coniglione, Heide Costantini, Paschal Coyle, Christian Curtil, Patrick Decowski, Ivan Dekeyser, Anne Deschamps, Corinne Donzaud, Damien Dornic, Hasankiadeh Q. Dorosti, Doriane Drouhin, Thomas Eberl, Umberto Emanuele, Jean-pierre Ernenwein, St??phanie Escoffier, Paolo Fermani, Marcelino Ferri, Vincenzo Flaminio, Florian Folger, Ulf Fritsch, Jean-luc Fuda, Salvatore Galat??, Pascal Gay, Giorgio Giacomelli, Valentina Giordano, Juan-pablo G??mez-gonz??lez, Kay Graf, Goulven Guillard, Garadeb Halladjian, Gregory Hallewell, Hans Van Haren, Joris Hartman, Aart J. Heijboer, Yann Hello, Juan Jose Hern??ndez-rey, Bjoern Herold, Jurgen H????l, Ching-cheng Hsu, Marteen De Jong, Matthias Kadler, Oleg Kalekin, Alexander Kappes, Uli Katz, Oksana Kavatsyuk, Paul Kooijman, Claudio Kopper, Antoine Kouchner, Ingo Kreykenbohm, Vladimir Kulikovskiy, Robert Lahmann, Patrick Lamare, Giuseppina Larosa, Dario Lattuada, Gordon Lim, Domenico Lo Presti, Herbert Loehner, Sotiris Loucatos, Salvatore Mangano, Michel Marcelin, Annarita Margiotta, Juan Antonio Martinez-mora, Athina Meli, Teresa Montaruli, Luciano Moscoso, Holger Motz, Max Neff, Emma Nuel Nezri, Dimitris Palioselitis, Gabriela E. P??v??la??, Kevin Payet, Patrice Payre, Jelena Petrovic, Paolo Piattelli, Nicolas Picot-clemente, Vlad Popa, Thierry Pradier, Eleonora Presani, Chantal Racca, Corey Reed, Giorgio Riccobene, Carsten Richardt, Roland Richter, Colas Rivi??re, Kathrin Roensch, Andrei Rostovtsev, Joaquin Ruiz-rivas, Marius Rujoiu, Valerio G. Russo, Francisco Salesa, Augustin S??nchez-losa, Piera Sapienza, Friederike Sch??ck, Jean-pierre Schuller, Fabian Schussler, Rezo Shanidze, Francesco Simeone, Andreas Spies, Maurizio Spurio, Jos J. M. Steijger, Thierry Stolarczyk, Mauro G. F. Taiuti, Simona Toscano, Bertrand Vallage, V??ronique Van Elewyck, Giulia Vannoni, Manuela Vecchi, Pascal Vernin, Guus Wijnker, Jorn Wilms, Els De Wolf, Harold Yepes, Dmitry Zaborov, Juan De Dios Zornoza, Juan Z????iga, John Murray Roberts

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Abstract

The deep ocean is the largest and least known ecosystem on Earth. It hosts numerous pelagic organisms, most of which are able to emit light. Here we present a unique data set consisting of a 2.5-year long record of light emission by deep-sea pelagic organisms, measured from December 2007 to June 2010 at the ANTARES underwater neutrino telescope in the deep NW Mediterranean Sea, jointly with synchronous hydrological records. This is the longest continuous time-series of deep-sea bioluminescence ever recorded. Our record reveals several weeks long, seasonal bioluminescence blooms with light intensity up to two orders of magnitude higher than background values, which correlate to changes in the properties of deep waters. Such changes are triggered by the winter cooling and evaporation experienced by the upper ocean layer in the Gulf of Lion that leads to the formation and subsequent sinking of dense water through a process known as “open-sea convection”. It episodically renews the deep water of the study area and conveys fresh organic matter that fuels the deep ecosystems. Luminous bacteria most likely are the main contributors to the observed deep-sea bioluminescence blooms. Our observations demonstrate a consistent and rapid connection between deep open-sea convection and bathypelagic biological activity, as expressed by bioluminescence. In a setting where dense water formation events are likely to decline under global warming scenarios enhancing ocean stratification, in situ observatories become essential as environmental sentinels for the monitoring and understanding of deep-sea ecosystem shifts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e67523
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2013

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Tamburini, C., Canals, M., Durrieu De Madron, X., Houpert, L., Lef??vre, D., Martini, S., D'ortenzio, F., Robert, A., Testor, P., Aguilar, J. A., Samarai, I. A., Albert, A., Andr??, M., Anghinolfi, M., Anton, G., Anvar, S., Ardid, M., Jesus, A. C. A., Astraatmadja, T. L., ... Roberts, J. M. (Ed.) (2013). Deep-Sea Bioluminescence Blooms after Dense Water Formation at the Ocean Surface. PLoS ONE, 8(7), e67523. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0067523