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Colatriano D.,Concordia University at Montreal | Ramachandran A.,Concordia University at Montreal | Yergeau E.,National Research Council Canada | Maranger R.,University of Montreal | And 6 more authors.

Here we harnessed the power of metaproteomics to assess the metabolic diversity and function of stratified aquatic microbial communities in the deep and expansive Lower St. Lawrence Estuary, located in eastern Canada. Vertical profiling of the microbial communities through the stratified water column revealed differences in metabolic lifestyles and in carbon and nitrogen processing pathways. In productive surface waters, we identified heterotrophic populations involved in the processing of high and low molecular weight organic matter from both terrestrial (e.g. cellulose and xylose) and marine (e.g. organic compatible osmolytes) sources. In the less productive deep waters, chemosynthetic production coupled to nitrification by MG-I Thaumarchaeota and Nitrospina appeared to be a dominant metabolic strategy. Similar to other studies of the coastal ocean, we identified methanol oxidation proteins originating from the common OM43 marine clade. However, we also identified a novel lineage of methanol-oxidizers specifically in the particle-rich bottom (i.e. nepheloid) layer. Membrane transport proteins assigned to the uncultivated MG-II Euryarchaeota were also specifically detected in the nepheloid layer. In total, these results revealed strong vertical structure of microbial taxa and metabolic activities, as well as the presence of specific "nepheloid" taxa that may contribute significantly to coastal ocean nutrient cycling. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Alkhatib M.,Geochemistry and Geodynamics Research Center | Alkhatib M.,University of Quebec at Montreal | Del Giorgio P.A.,University of Quebec at Montreal | Gelinas Y.,Concordia University at Montreal | Lehmann M.F.,University of Basel

The distribution of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and carbon (DOC) in sediment porewaters was determined at nine locations along the St. Lawrence estuary and in the gulf of St. Lawrence. In a previous manuscript (Alkhatib et al., 2012a), we have shown that this study area is characterized by gradients in the sedimentary particulate organic matter (POM) reactivity, bottom water oxygen concentrations, and benthic respiration rates. Based on the porewater profiles, we estimated the benthic diffusive fluxes of DON and DOC in the same area. Our results show that DON fluxed out of the sediments at significant rates (110 to 430 μmol m-2 d-1). DON fluxes were positively correlated with sedimentary POM reactivity and varied inversely with sediment oxygen exposure time (OET), suggesting direct links between POM quality, aerobic remineralization and the release of DON to the water column. DON fluxes were on the order of 30 to 64% of the total benthic inorganic fixed N loss due to denitrification, and often exceeded the diffusive nitrate fluxes into the sediments. Hence they represented a large fraction of the total benthic N exchange, a result that is particularly important in light of the fact that DON fluxes are usually not accounted for in estuarine and coastal zone nutrient budgets. In contrast to DON, DOC fluxes out of the sediments did not show any significant spatial variation along the Laurentian Channel (LC) between the estuary and the gulf (2100 ± 100 μmol m-2 d-1). The molar C / N ratio of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in porewater and the overlying bottom water varied significantly along the transect, with lowest C / N in the lower estuary (5-6) and highest C / N (> 10) in the gulf. Large differences between the C / N ratios of porewater DOM and POM are mainly attributed to a combination of selective POM hydrolysis and elemental fractionation during subsequent DOM mineralization, but selective adsorption of DOM to mineral phases could not be excluded as a potential C / N fractionating process. The extent of this C- versus N- element partitioning seems to be linked to POM reactivity and redox conditions in the sediment porewaters. Our results thus highlight the variable effects selective organic matter (OM) preservation can have on bulk sedimentary C / N ratios, decoupling the primary source C / N signatures from those in sedimentary paleoenvironmental archives. Our study further underscores that the role of estuarine sediments as efficient sinks of bioavailable nitrogen is strongly influenced by the release of DON during early diagenetic reactions, and that DON fluxes from continental margin sediments represent an important internal source of N to the ocean. © Author(s) 2013. Source

Giguet-Covex C.,University of Savoy | Arnaud F.,University of Savoy | Poulenard J.,University of Savoy | Disnar J.-R.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 7 more authors.

A high-resolution sedimentological and geochemical study was performed on a 20 m long core from the alpine Lake Anterne (2063 m a.s.l., NW French Alps) spanning the last 10 ka. Sedimentation is mainly of minerogenic origin. The organic matter quantity (TOC%) as well as its quality (hydrogen (HI) and oxygen (OI) indices) both indicate the progressive onset and subsequent stabilization of vegetation cover in the catchment from 9950 to 5550 cal. BP. During this phase, the pedogenic process of carbonate dissolution is marked by a decrease in the calcium content in the sediment record. Between 7850 and 5550 cal. BP, very low manganese concentrations suggest anoxic conditions in the bottom-water of Lake Anterne. These are caused by a relatively high organic matter (terrestrial and lacustrine) content, a low flood frequency and longer summer stratification triggered by warmer conditions. From 5550 cal. BP, a decrease in TOC, stabilization of HI and higher sedimentation rates together reflect increased erosion rates of leptosols and developed soils, probably due to a colder and wetter climate. Then, three periods of important soil destabilization are marked by an increased frequency and thickness of flood deposits during the Bronze Age and by increases in topsoil erosion relative to leptosols (HI increases) during the late Iron Age/Roman period and the Medieval periods. These periods are also characterized by higher sedimentation rates. According to palynological data, human impact (deforestation and/or pasturing activity) probably triggered these periods of increased soil erosion. © The Author(s) 2011. Source

Giguet-Covex C.,University of Savoy | Arnaud F.,University of Savoy | Enters D.,University of Savoy | Enters D.,University of Bremen | And 8 more authors.
Quaternary Research

In central Western Europe, several studies have shown that colder Holocene periods, such as the Little Ice Age, also correspond to wet periods. However, in mountain areas which are highly sensitive to erosion processes and where precipitation events can be localized, past evolution of hydrological activity might be more complicated. To assess these past hydrological changes, a paleolimnological approach was applied on a 13.4-m-long sediment core taken in alpine Lake Anterne (2063. m asl) and representing the last 3.5. ka. Lake sedimentation is mainly composed of flood deposits triggered by precipitation events. Sedimentological and geochemical analyses show that floods were more frequent during cold periods while high-intensity flood events occurred preferentially during warmer periods. In mild temperature conditions, both flood patterns are present. This underlines the complex relationship between flood hazards and climatic change in mountain areas. During the warmer and/or dryer times of the end of Iron Age and the Roman Period, both the frequency and intensity of floods increased. This is interpreted as an effect of human-induced clearing for grazing activities and reveals that anthropogenic interferences must be taken into account when reconstructing climatic signals from natural archives. © 2011 University of Washington. Source

Lapointe F.,INRS - Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique | Lapointe F.,Geochemistry and Geodynamics Research Center | Francus P.,INRS - Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique | Francus P.,Geochemistry and Geodynamics Research Center | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Paleolimnology

Annual grain-size variation was measured on the varved (annually laminated) lacustrine sediment from Cape Bounty East Lake using an innovative image analysis system. About 7100 images were acquired using a scanning electron microscope and processed to obtain measurement of particles from 2845 varves. Several particle-size distributions indices were calculated and can be linked to high-energy sedimentary facies. Moreover, the coarse grain size (98th percentile) of these high-energy facies is strongly correlated with summer rainfall (and also summer temperature) of instrumental data from nearby stations. Particle-size distributions show a similar trend through time, especially for the standard deviation and the 98th percentile. Climatic reconstruction suggests that Cape Bounty recently experienced an unprecedented increase of rainfall events since ~AD 1920. On the other hand, changes in varve thickness are weakly correlated with the particle-size distribution. Altogether, these results highlight the need to obtain annual grain-size data to identify a meteorological signal. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

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