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Paulsen, ML, Seuthe L, Reigstad M, Larsen A, Cape MR, Vernet M.  2018.  Asynchronous accumulation of organic carbon and nitrogen in the Atlantic gateway to the Arctic Ocean. Frontiers in Marine Science. 5   10.3389/fmars.2018.00416   AbstractWebsite

Nitrogen (N) is the main limiting nutrient for biological production in the Arctic Ocean. While dissolved inorganic N (DIN) is well studied, the substantial pool of N bound in organic matter (OM) and its bioavailability in the system is rarely considered. Covering a full annual cycle, we here follow N and carbon (C) content in particulate (P) and dissolved (D) OM within the Atlantic water inflow to the Arctic Ocean. While particulate organic carbon (POC), particulate organic nitrogen (PON), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) accumulated in the surface waters from January to May, the dissolved organic nitrogen (DON)-pool decreased substantially (Delta - 50 mu g N L-1). The DON reduction was greater than the simultaneous reduction in DIN (Delta - 30 mu g N L-1), demonstrating that DON is a valuable N-source supporting the growing biomass. While the accumulating POM had a C/N ratio close to Redfield, the asynchronous accumulation of C and N in the dissolved pool resulted in a drastic increase in the C/N ratio of dissolved organic molecules (DOM) during the spring bloom. This is likely due to a combination of the reduction in DON, and a high release of carbon-rich sugars from phytoplankton, as 32% of the spring primary production (PP) was dissolved. Our findings thus caution calculations of particulate PP from DIN drawdown. During post-bloom the DON pool increased threefold due to an enhanced microbial processing of OM and reduced phytoplankton production. The light absorption spectra of DOM revealed high absorption within the UV range during spring bloom indicating DOM with low molecular weight in this period. The absorption of DOM was generally lower in the winter months than in spring and summer. Our results demonstrate that the change in ecosystem function (i.e., phytoplankton species and activity, bacterial activity and grazing) in different seasons is associated with strong changes in the C/N ratios and optical character of DOM and underpin the essential role of DON for the production cycle in the Arctic.

Vernet, M, Whitehead K.  1996.  Release of ultraviolet-absorbing compounds by the red-tide dinoflagellate Lingulodinium polyedra. Marine Biology. 127:35-44.   10.1007/bf00993641   AbstractWebsite

We tested the hypothesis that ultraviolet-absorbing compounds known as mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) are not only synthesized but also excreted by marine phytoplankton. An experiment was performed with cultures of the marine dinoflagellate Lingulodinium polyedra (previously known as Gonyaulax polyedra) exposed to visible (photosynthetically available, PAR, 400 to 700 nm) and ultraviolet (UV, 290 to 400 nm) radiation. Absorption properties of both particulate and dissolved organic matter pools (POM and DOM, respectively) showed maxima in ultraviolet absorption at 360 nm. Chromatographic analysis confirmed the presence of MAAs in both pools. Release of organic matter by L. polyedra, as measured spectrophotometrically by changes in UV absorption in the surrounding medium, showed a differential increase at 360 nm in cultures exposed to UV-B + PAR radiation. The changes in absorption in the DOM fraction were inversely proportional to intracellular UV absorption. Photodegradation experiments in which the DOM fraction was exposed to visible and UV-B radiation showed a decrease in absorption with dose. First-order photooxidation decay rates varied between -0.005 and -0.26 m(2) (mol quanta)(-1) and were also a function of the initial optical density (OD). These results indicate that UV-absorbing compounds synthesized by phytoplankton, such as certain dinoflagellates, may be a component of the DOM pool in surface waters of the ocean and contribute to the attenuation of UV radiation in the water column. Photooxidation consumes only 3 to 10% of the daily production of the DOM absorbing between 280 and 390 nm (including MAAs). This suggests that MAAs dissolved in seawater may contribute to the decrease of UV transmission through the water column on a time scale representative of phytoplankton growth (days) and bloom development (weeks).