alexa Deep microbial communities evidenced in the Liguro-Provençal front by their ETS activity
Geology & Earth Science

Geology & Earth Science

Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research

Author(s): Savenkoff Claude, Prieur Louis, Reys JeanPierre, Lefevre Dominique, Dallot Serge

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ETS (electron transport system) activity through the water column (down to 800-1200 m depth) and along a transect across the Liguro-Provençal front (Mediterranean Sea) was monitored over a 2 year period. A time series was run in two zones (peripheral and central) characterizing the area and located on both sides of the front. In contrast with profiles of ETS activity that follow a power function decrease with increasing depth in oligotrophic waters, ETS activity always exhibited a local maximum at 300-400 m depth in the peripheral zone and less frequently in the central one. In the peripheral zone, the mean value of this peak was about 50% higher than in the central zone. This dissymmetry in ETS activity with respect to the front was persistent despite an opposite dissymmetry in the euphotic layer, where the mean value of ETS activity in the central zone was about 30% higher than in the peripheral one. Such a distribution is accounted for by a shoreward transfer of organic matter produced in the central and frontal zones. It also reveals the existence of discrete accumulations of micro-organisms in the aphotic layer, probably in connection with the frontal structure. Principal component analysis of 256 observations made in the 80-1200 m water column quantified the contribution of the front parameters to the ETS activity distribution below the 80 m top layer. The metabolic CO 2 production in the 200-800 m water column is higher in the peripheral zone (28.1 g C m -2 y -1) than in the central one (23.9 g C m -2 y -1).

This article was published in Deep Sea Res and referenced in Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research

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