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Similar rapid response to phytodetritus deposition in shallow and deep-sea sediments

Moodley, L. and Middelburg, J.J. and Soetaert, K.E.R. and Boschker, H.T.S. and Herman, P.M.J. and Heip, C.H.R. (2005) Similar rapid response to phytodetritus deposition in shallow and deep-sea sediments. Journal of Marine Research, 63, 457-469. ISSN 0022-2402.

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The short-term benthic response to an input of fresh organic matter was examined in vastly contrasting benthic environments (estuarine intertidal to deep-sea) using 13C-labeled diatoms as a tracer of labile carbon. Benthic processing was assessed in major compartments through 13C-enrichment in CO2, in bacteria-specific phospholipids and in fauna tissue. A rapid response was evident in all environments. Under warm bottom water (14–18°C), similar quantities of the added carbon were respired within 24 hours in shallow and deep-sea sediments. However, the speed and magnitude of respiration were strongly reduced under low bottom water temperature (4–6°C), both in a shallow and a deep-sea site. Rapid carbon respiration even in deep-sea sediments almost devoid of fauna highlights the key role of bacteria, the most ubiquitous benthic component, in this short-term respiration of fresh organic matter. However, when present, fauna rapidly ingest algal material, thereby increasing the amount of carbon processed and directly extending carbon flow pathways.

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:11753
Deposited On:23 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:31 Mar 2014 10:07

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