Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2009. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 57 (2010): 1460-1477, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.02.015.
We targeted the warm, subsurface waters of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS) to investigate processes that are linked to the chemical composition and cycling of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in seawater. The apparent respiration of semi-labile DOC accounted for 27 ± 18% of oxygen consumption in EMS mesopelagic and bathypelagic waters; this value is higher than that observed in the bathypelagic open ocean, so the chemical signals that accompany remineralization of DOC may thus be more pronounced in this region. Ultrafiltered dissolved organic matter (UDOM) collected from four deep basins at depths ranging from 2 to 4350 m exhibited bulk chemical (1H-NMR) and molecular level (amino acid and monosaccharide) abundances, composition, and spatial distribution that were similar to previous reports, except for a sample collected in the deep waters of the N. Aegean Sea that had been isolated for over a decade. The amino acid component of UDOM was tightly correlated with apparent oxygen utilization and prokaryotic activity, indicating its relationship with remineralization processes that occur over a large range of timescales. Principal component analyses of relative mole percentages of monomers revealed that oxygen consumption and prokaryotic activity were correlated with variability in amino acid distributions but not well correlated with monosaccharide distributions. Taken together, this study elucidates key relationships between the chemical composition of DOM and heterotrophic metabolism.
TBM and AG acknowledge funding from the Hellenic GSRT/European Union (non-EU Grant No180) and SESAME Project (European Commission's Sixth Framework Program, EC Contract No GOCE-036949). TY was supported by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellowship for research abroad and DDC received a fellowship of the University of Groningen. Microbial laboratory work and molecular analyses were supported by a grant of the Earth and Life Science Division of the Dutch Science Foundation (ARCHIMEDES project, 835.20.023) to GJH. DJR and TBM were supported by grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and from the C-MORE organization of NSF.
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