Changes in organic matter cycling in a plankton community exposed to warming under different light intensities

Biermann, Antje, Engel, Anja and Riebesell, Ulf (2014) Changes in organic matter cycling in a plankton community exposed to warming under different light intensities Journal of Plankton Research, 36 (3). pp. 658-671. DOI 10.1093/plankt/fbu005.

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To investigate the combined effect of temperature and light availability on organic matter production and degradation during a winter/spring phytoplankton bloom in Kiel Bight, we conducted a mesocosm study applying two temperature regimes, ambient (T + 0) and plus 6°C (T + 6) and three irradiance levels. Rising temperature accelerated the onset of the phytoplankton bloom, while light intensity played only a minor role for the timing and bloom development. Maximum build-up of chlorophyll a and particulate organic carbon were ∼20% lower at T + 6 compared with T + 0, probably caused by a combination of elevated heterotrophic processes and enhanced sedimentation during the bloom. The latter is supported by increased TEP concentrations at T + 6 (TEP/POC 0.18 mol C/mol C) compared with T + 0 (0.11 mol C/mol C) during bloom conditions, which may have promoted cell aggregation and sinking. Dissolved organic carbon concentrations increased more rapidly at elevated temperature. For a warmer future ocean, we can hence expect two counteracting mechanisms controlling organic matter flow during phytoplankton blooms: (1) enhanced processing of organic matter via the microbial loop resulting in a faster recycling and (2) depending on the dominating phytoplankton species, enhanced TEP formation resulting in increased particle aggregation and thus export of carbon and nutrients.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000336490000006
Keywords: ocean warming; light; marine carbon cycle; spring bloom; transparent exopolymer particles
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BI Biological Oceanography
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1093/plankt/fbu005
ISSN: 0142-7873
Projects: AQUASHIFT, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2014 07:57
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2014 09:36

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