Processing of C-13-labelled diatoms by a bathyal community at sub-zero temperatures

Evangelia Gontikaki, D J Mayor, B Thornton, Kenny Black, Ursula Witte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The carbon (C) budget in bathyal permanently cold sediments was assessed by means of a pulse-chase experiment in the deep Faroe-Shetland Channel (FSC). The food pulse was simulated by adding 500 mg C m(-2) of the C-13-labelled marine diatom Chaetoceros radicans to sediment cores retrieved from 1080 m in the FSC. The fate of the tracer was followed over 6 d into the dissolved inorganic C pool ((DIC)-C-13) as well as the bacterial and faunal (metazoan macrofauna and meiofaunal-sized nematode) biomass. After 3 d of incubation, 14.9 and 0.81 mg C m(-2) of the algal C was recovered from bacterial and faunal biomass, respectively, while only 3.8 mg C m(-2) was respired. Respiration was the dominant tracer pathway after 6 d of incubation (44 mg C m(-2)). Bacterial tracer uptake did not increase significantly between Days 3 and 6. The tracer recovered from metazoan fauna at the end of the experiment constituted 3.2% (2 mg C m(-2)) of the total processed C, with meiofauna contributing only similar to 1% to the total metazoan uptake. The bacterial response was characterised by varying bacterial growth efficiency (BGE). During the first half of the experiment, low respiration and high bacterial uptake of the C-13-labelled substrate resulted in particularly high BGE, while the opposite was observed in the second half of the incubation. We postulate that the high BGE at the start of the experiment represents the absorption and metabolism of the readily available labile components of the added organic matter (OM). The decrease in BGE possibly corresponds to the initiation of the energetically costly hydrolytic processes necessary for the consumption of more recalcitrant OM.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbern/a
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages12
JournalMAR ECOL-PROG SER
Volume421
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • GROWTH EFFICIENCY
  • GOBAN SPUR
  • SHORT-TERM FATE
  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • BENTHIC RESPONSE
  • ORGANIC-MATTER
  • Oceanography
  • NORTHEAST ATLANTIC
  • Ecology
  • ARCTIC SEDIMENTS
  • DEEP-SEA SEDIMENTS
  • FORAMINIFERAL POPULATIONS
  • IN-SITU EXPERIMENTS

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