Advertisement

Processes driven by the Small Sized Organisms at the Water-Sediment Interface

  • K. Lochte
  • O. Pfannkuche
Chapter

Abstract

The small sized organisms including prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea), protozoa and metazoan meiofauna (< 250 µm) are the driving forces for biogeochemical fluxes in surficial deepsea sediments under oxic conditions. The relative proportion of small sized organisms increases along trophic gradients from eutrophy to oligotrophy or from the continental margin towards the mid oceanic deep-sea. They can consume up to 10% of freshly sedimented organic matter per day. The small sized fauna consumes and respires the largest part of organic matter, while macrofauna is instrumental in incorporating fresh detritus into the sediment, structuring the environment and thus facilitating microbial processes. Small organisms, in particular prokaryotes, can adapt to amount and quality of organic matter input. Under nutrient starvation probably a large proportion of the prokaryotic community is dormant and is reactivated during sedimentation events. On time scales of 7–10 days (metabolism) to 2–3 weeks (biomass increase) they can react to pulses of deposition of organic material. However, the history of food supply influences the speed of adaptation and effectiveness of growth. At stations close to continental margins estimates of organic matter input from sediment traps largely disagree with measurements of benthic respiration, carbon turnover or estimates obtained from geochemical modelling. This discrepancy is much smaller at mid-oceanic stations. Lateral inputs from productive shelf seas into the deep-sea are suspected to cause this discrepancy.

Keywords

Continental Margin Particulate Organic Carbon Vertical Flux Organic Matter Input Trophic Gradient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bett BJ, Rice AL (1993) The feeding behaviour of an abyssal echiuran revealed by in situ time-lapse photography. Deep-Sea Res 40: 1767–1779CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boetius A, Damm E (1998) Benthic oxygen uptake, hydrolytic potentials and microbial biomass at the Arctic continental slope. Deep-Sea Res I 45: 239–275Google Scholar
  3. Boetius A, Lochte K (1996a) Effect of organic enrichment on hydrolytic potentials and growth of bacteria in deep-sea sediments. Mar Ecol Prog Se 140: 239–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boetius A, Lochte K (1996b) High proteolytic activities of deep-sea bacteria from oligotrophic polar sediments. Arch. Hydrobiol. Spec. Issues Advanc Limnol 48: 269–276Google Scholar
  5. Boetius A, Ferdelmann T, Lochte K (2000) Bacterial activity in sediments of the deep Arabian Sea in relation to vertical flux. Deep-Sea Res II 47: 2835–2875Google Scholar
  6. Christiansen C, Boetius A (2000) Mass sedimentation of the swimming crab Charybdis smithii (Crustacea: Decapoda) in the deep Arabian Sea. Deep-Sea Res II 47: 2673–2685Google Scholar
  7. Deming JW, Baross JA (1993) The early diagenesis of organic matter: Bacterial activity. In: Engel H, Macko SA (eds) Organic Geochemistry. Plenum Press, New York. pp 119–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Galéron J, Sibuet M, Mahaut M-L, Dinet A (2000) Variation in structure and biomass of the benthic communities at three contrasting sites in the tropical Northeast Atlantic. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 197: 121–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gooday AJ, Lambshead PJD (1989) Influence of seasonally deposited phytodetritus on benthic foraminiferal populations in the bathyal northeast Atlantic: The species response. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 58: 53–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gooday AJ, Turley CM (1990) Responses by benthic organisms to inputs of organic material to the ocean floor: A review. Phil Trans R Soc Lond A 331: 119–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gooday AJ, Pfannkuche O, Lambshead PJD (1996) An apparent lack of response by metazoan meiofauna to phytodetritus deposition in the bathyal North-eastern Atlantic. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 76: 297–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Graf G (1989) Benthic-pelagic coupling in a deep-sea benthic community. Nature 341: 437–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Haake B, Ittekkot V, Rixen T, Ramaswamy V, Nair RR, Curry WB (1993) Seasonality and interannual variability of particle fluxes to the deep Arabian Sea. Deep-Sea Res I 407: 1323–1344Google Scholar
  14. Jahnke RA (1996) The global ocean flux of particulate organic carbon: Areal distribution and magnitude. Glob Biogeochem Cycl 10: 71–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jahnke RA, Jackson GA (1987) Role of sea floor organisms in oxygen consumption in the deep North Pacific Ocean. Nature 329: 621–623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Levin L, Blair N, DeMaster D, Plaia G, Fornes W, Martin C, Thomas C (1997) Rapid subduction of organic matter by maldanid polychaetes on the North Carolina slope. J Mar Res 55: 595–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lochte K (1992) Bacterial standing stock and consumption of organic carbon in the benthic boundary layer of the abyssal North Atlantic. In: Rowe GT and Pariente V (eds) Deep-Sea Food Chains and the Global Carbon Cycle, NATO ASI Series, Vol. C360, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lochte K, Ducklow HW, Fasham MJR, Stienen C (1993) Plankton succession and carbon cycling at 47°N, 20°W during the JGOFS North Atlantic Bloom Experiment. Deep-Sea Res 40: 91–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Luff R, Wallmann K, Grandel S, Schlüter M (2000) Numerical modeling of benthic processes in the deep Arabian Sea. Deep-Sea Res II 47: 3039–3072Google Scholar
  20. Martin WR, Bender ML (1988) The variability of benthic fluxes and sedimentary remineralization rates in resonse to seasonally variable organic carbon rain rates in the deep-sea: A modelling study. American J Sci 288: 561–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Meyer-Reil L-A, Köster M (1992) Microbial life in pelagic sediments: The impact of environmental parameters on enzymatic degradation of organic material. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 81: 65–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Newton PP, Lampitt RS, Jickells TD, King P, Boutle C (1994) Temporal and spatial variability of biogenic particle fluxes during the JGOFS northeast Atlantic process studies at 47°N, 20°W (1989–1990). DeepSea Res I 41: 1617–1642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pfannkuche O (1993) Benthic response to the sedimentation of particulate organic matter at the BIOTRANS station, 47°N, 20°W. Deep-Sea Res II 40: 135–149Google Scholar
  24. Pfannkuche O, Lochte K (2000) The biogeochemistry of the deep Arabian Sea: Overview. Deep-Sea Res II 47: 2615–2628Google Scholar
  25. Pfannkuche O, Soltwedel T (1998) Small benthic size classes along the NW European continental margin: Spatial and temporable variability in activity and biomass. Prog Oceanog 42: 189–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pfannkuche O, Boetius A, Lundgreen U, Lochte K, Thiel H (1999) Responses of deep-sea benthos to unusual sedimentation patterns in the North-East Atlantic in 1992. Deep-Sea Res I 46: 573–596Google Scholar
  27. Poremba K, Hoppe H-G (1995) Spatial variation of benthic microbial production and hydrolytic enzymatic activity down the continental slope of the Celtic Sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 118: 237–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Smith CR, Jumars PA, DeMaster DJ (1986) In situ studies of megafaunal mounds indicate rapid sediment turnover and community response at the deep-sea floor. Nature 323: 251–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Smith KL jr, Druffel ERM (1998) Long time-series monitoring of an abyssal site in the NE Pacific: An introduction. Deep-Sea Res II 45: 573–586Google Scholar
  30. Smith KL jr, Kaufmann RS (1999) Long-term discrepancy between food supply and demand in the deep eastern North Pacific. Science 284: 1174–1177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Soetaert K, Herman PMJ, Middelburg JJ (1996) A model of early diagenetic processes from the shelf to abyssal depths. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 60: 1019–1040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Soltwedel T (2000) Metazoan meiobenthos along continental margins: A review. Prog Oceanog 46: 59–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Thiel H (1975) The size structures ofthe deep-sea benthos. Int Rev Gesamten Hydrobiol 60: 575–606Google Scholar
  34. Turley CM, Lochte K, Patterson DJ (1988) A barophilic flagellate isolated from 4500 m in the mid-North Atlantic. Deep-Sea Res 35: 1079–1092CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vetter YA, Deming J (1994) Extracellular enzyme activity in the Arctic Northeast Water polynya. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 114: 23–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wheatcroft RA, Martin WR (1996) Spatial variation in short-term (234-Th) sediment bioturbation intensity along an organic-carbon gradient. J Mar Res 54: 763–792CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Witte U (2000) Vertical distribution of nmetazoan macrofauna within the sediment at four sites with contrasting food supply in the Arabian Sea. Deep-Sea Res II 47: 2979–2997Google Scholar
  38. Witte U, Pfannkuche O (2000) High rates of benthic carbon remineralisation in the abyssal Arabian Sea. Deep-Sea Res II 47: 2785–2804Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für MeereskundeKielGermany
  2. 2.Forschungszentrum für Marine GeowissenschaftenGEOMARKielGermany

Personalised recommendations