Community metabolism and energy transfer in the Chesapeake Bay estuarine turbidity maximum

Lee, Dong Yoon, Keller, David, Crump, Byron C. and Hood, Raleigh R. (2012) Community metabolism and energy transfer in the Chesapeake Bay estuarine turbidity maximum Marine Ecology Progress Series, 449 . pp. 65-82. DOI 10.3354/meps09543.

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In an effort to identify the key mechanisms controlling biological productivity and food web structure in the Chesapeake Bay estuarine turbidity maxima (ETM), we measured plankton community metabolism on a series of surveys in the upper Chesapeake Bay during the winter and spring of 2007 and 2008. Measured quantities included primary production, bacterial production, planktonic community respiration, and algal pigment concentrations. These measurements revealed a classic minimum in photosynthesis in the vicinity of the ETM. Temporal variability in plankton community metabolism, primary production, respiration, and bacterial production, were highest in the southern oligohaline region down-estuary of the ETM, and appeared to be driven by dynamic bio-physical interactions. Elevated primary production and community respiration in this region were often associated with the presence of mixotrophic dinoflagellates. The dinoflagellate contribution to primary production and respiration appeared to be particularly large as a result of their mixotrophic capabilities, which allow them to obtain energy both autotrophically and heterotrophically. This study suggests that mixotrophic dinoflagellates play a key role in pelagic food web in the oligohaline region of Chesapeake Bay supplying most of the labile organic matter during late winter and spring and also providing a vector for transferring microbial production to mesozooplankton.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Biological Oceanography; Food Webs; estuarine turbidity maximum, plankton community metabolism, allochthonous and autochthonous organic matter, mixotrophic dinoflagellate, estuarine food web, Chesapeake Bay
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.3354/meps09543
ISSN: 0171-8630
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2012 08:51
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 15:06

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