Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Biogeosciences, 10, 4073-4085, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-4073-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
20 Jun 2013
Temperature effects on carbon-specific respiration rate and sinking velocity of diatom aggregates – potential implications for deep ocean export processes
M. H. Iversen1 and H. Ploug2,3 1Faculty of Geosciences and MARUM, University of Bremen, Klagenfurter and Leobener Strasse, 28359 Bremen, Germany
2Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
3University of Gothenburg, Dept. of Biology and Environmental Sciences, P.O. Box 461, 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden
Abstract. Most deep ocean carbon flux profiles show low and almost constant fluxes of particulate organic carbon (POC) in the deep ocean. However, the reason for the non-changing POC fluxes at depths is unknown. This study presents direct measurements of formation, degradation, and sinking velocity of diatom aggregates from laboratory studies performed at 15 °C and 4 °C during a three-week experiment. The average carbon-specific respiration rate during the experiment was 0.12 ± 0.03 at 15 °C, and decreased 3.5-fold when the temperature was lowered to 4 °C. No direct influence of temperature on aggregate sinking speed was observed. Using the remineralisation rate measured at 4 °C and an average particle sinking speed of 150 m d−1, calculated carbon fluxes were similar to those collected in deep ocean sediment traps from a global data set, indicating that temperature plays a major role for deep ocean fluxes of POC.

Citation: Iversen, M. H. and Ploug, H.: Temperature effects on carbon-specific respiration rate and sinking velocity of diatom aggregates – potential implications for deep ocean export processes, Biogeosciences, 10, 4073-4085, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-4073-2013, 2013.
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