Hauss H.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science |
Christiansen S.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science |
Schutte F.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science |
Kiko R.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science |
And 8 more authors.
Biogeosciences | Year: 2016
The eastern tropical North Atlantic (ETNA) features a mesopelagic oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) at approximately 300-600 m depth. Here, oxygen concentrations rarely fall below 40 μmol O2 kgg-1, but are expected to decline under future projections of global warming. The recent discovery of mesoscale eddies that harbour a shallow suboxic (< 5 μmol O2 kgg-1) OMZ just below the mixed layer could serve to identify zooplankton groups that may be negatively or positively affected by ongoing ocean deoxygenation. In spring 2014, a detailed survey of a suboxic anticyclonic modewater eddy (ACME) was carried out near the Cape Verde Ocean Observatory (CVOO), combining acoustic and optical profiling methods with stratified multinet hauls and hydrography. The multinet data revealed that the eddy was characterized by an approximately 1.5-fold increase in total area-integrated zooplankton abundance. At nighttime, when a large proportion of acoustic scatterers is ascending into the upper 150 m, a drastic reduction in mean volume backscattering (Sv) at 75 kHz (shipboard acoustic Doppler current profiler, ADCP) within the shallow OMZ of the eddy was evident compared to the nighttime distribution outside the eddy. Acoustic scatterers avoided the depth range between approximately 85 to 120 m, where oxygen concentrations were lower than approximately 20 μmol O2 kgg-1, indicating habitat compression to the oxygenated surface layer. This observation is confirmed by time series observations of a moored ADCP (upward looking, 300 kHz) during an ACME transit at the CVOO mooring in 2010. Nevertheless, part of the diurnal vertical migration (DVM) from the surface layer to the mesopelagic continued through the shallow OMZ. Based upon vertically stratified multinet hauls, Underwater Vision Profiler (UVP5) and ADCP data, four strategies followed by zooplankton in response to in response to the eddy OMZ have been identified: (i) shallow OMZ avoidance and compression at the surface (e.g. most calanoid copepods, euphausiids); (ii) migration to the shallow OMZ core during daytime, but paying O2 debt at the surface at nighttime (e.g. siphonophores, Oncaea spp., eucalanoid copepods); (iii) residing in the shallow OMZ day and night (e.g. ostracods, polychaetes); and (iv) DVM through the shallow OMZ from deeper oxygenated depths to the surface and back. For strategy (i), (ii) and (iv), compression of the habitable volume in the surface may increase prey-predator encounter rates, rendering zooplankton and micronekton more vulnerable to predation and potentially making the eddy surface a foraging hotspot for higher trophic levels. With respect to long-term effects of ocean deoxygenation, we expect avoidance of the mesopelagic OMZ to set in if oxygen levels decline below approximately 20 μmol O2 kgg-1. This may result in a positive feedback on the OMZ oxygen consumption rates, since zooplankton and micronekton respiration within the OMZ as well as active flux of dissolved and particulate organic matter into the OMZ will decline. © 2016 Author(s).
Kalvelage T.,Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology |
Lavik G.,Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology |
Lam P.,Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology |
Contreras S.,Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology |
And 9 more authors.
Nature Geoscience | Year: 2013
Oxygen minimum zones are expanding globally, and at present account for around 20-40% of oceanic nitrogen loss. Heterotrophic denitrification and anammox-anaerobic ammonium oxidation with nitrite-are responsible for most nitrogen loss in these low-oxygen waters. Anammox is particularly significant in the eastern tropical South Pacific, one of the largest oxygen minimum zones globally. However, the factors that regulate anammox-driven nitrogen loss have remained unclear. Here, we present a comprehensive nitrogen budget for the eastern tropical South Pacific oxygen minimum zone, using measurements of nutrient concentrations, experimentally determined rates of nitrogen transformation and a numerical model of export production. Anammox was the dominant mode of nitrogen loss at the time of sampling. Rates of anammox, and related nitrogen transformations, were greatest in the productive shelf waters, and tailed off with distance from the coast. Within the shelf region, anammox activity peaked in both upper and bottom waters. Overall, rates of nitrogen transformation, including anammox, were strongly correlated with the export of organic matter. We suggest that the sinking of organic matter, and thus the release of ammonium into the water column, together with benthic ammonium release, fuel nitrogen loss from oxygen minimum zones. Copyright © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
Loscher C.R.,Institute for General Microbiology |
Loscher C.R.,University of Kiel |
Fischer M.A.,Institute for General Microbiology |
Neulinger S.C.,Institute for General Microbiology |
And 10 more authors.
Biogeosciences | Year: 2015
The eastern tropical North Atlantic (ETNA) is characterized by a highly productive coastal upwelling system and a moderate oxygen minimum zone with lowest open-ocean oxygen (O2) concentrations of approximately 40 μmol kg-1. The recent discovery of re-occurring mesoscale eddies with close to anoxic O2 concentrations (< 1 μmol kg-1) located just below the mixed layer has challenged our understanding of O2 distribution and biogeochemical processes in this area. Here, we present the first microbial community study from a deoxygenated anticyclonic modewater eddy in the open waters of the ETNA. In the eddy, we observed significantly lower bacterial diversity compared to surrounding waters, along with a significant community shift. We detected enhanced primary productivity in the surface layer of the eddy indicated by elevated chlorophyll concentrations and carbon uptake rates of up to three times as high as in surrounding waters. Carbon uptake rates below the euphotic zone correlated to the presence of a specific high-light ecotype of Prochlorococcus, which is usually underrepresented in the ETNA. Our data indicate that high primary production in the eddy fuels export production and supports enhanced respiration in a specific microbial community at shallow depths, below the mixed-layer base. The transcription of the key functional marker gene for dentrification, nirS, further indicated a potential for nitrogen loss processes in O2-depleted core waters of the eddy. Dentrification is usually absent from the open ETNA waters. In light of future projected ocean deoxygenation, our results show that even distinct events of anoxia have the potential to alter microbial community structure with critical impacts on primary productivity and biogeochemical processes of oceanic water bodies. © Author(s) 2015.