Relationships between sedimentary subseafloor microbial abundance and sedimentation rate

Author(s): Kallmeyer, Jens
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
GFZ Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
Volume Title: AGU 2015 fall meeting
Source: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Vol.2015; American Geophysical Union 2015 fall meeting, San Francisco, CA, Dec. 14-18, 2015. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States
Note: In English
Summary: Cell count data for estimates of global subseafloor microbial abundance need to be simplified in order to be used for model calculations All models rely on regressions of cell counts vs. depth. Different strategies are being used for simplifying the data, e.g. averaging over highly variable data from different oceanic provinces or excluding individual datasets that cannot be described by a single regression. While providing global estimates, these models fail to identify the finer details of the controls on subseafloor microbial abundance. Most subseafloor microbes are heterotrophic and gain energy by degrading buried organic matter. Because sedimentation rate is usually positively correlated with primary productivity and organic matter flux to the seafloor, it determines how much organic matter is deposited on the sea floor and how fast it is buried and reaches greater depths. At the same depth, in environments with low sed. rates the organic matter is older, more degraded and supports less metabolic activity than in those with high sed. rates. As a result, sed. rates control penetration depth of oxygen and other electron acceptors. Oxygen penetration remains in the mm to cm range over most sed. rates and it only penetrates significantly deeper at very low rates of ca. 1 mm/kyr or less. However, microbial abundance correlates with sed. rate over a wider range. In order to take a more detailed look at the influence of sed. rate and therefore sediment age on cell abundance, ages and additional geochemical information were assigned to individual cell counts. The new dataset shows the strong influence of sed. rates or rather sediment age on microbial abundance, while oxygen concentrations seem to have only a minor influence. Using data from IODP drill sites that have moved from high to low productivity zones or vice versa helps to differentiate between different factors that control microbial cell abundance.
Year of Publication: 2015
Research Program: IODP Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 07 Marine Geology and Oceanography; Integrated Ocean Drilling Program; Marine sedimentation; Organic compounds; Sedimentation; Sedimentation rates
Record ID: 2016060122
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by, and/or abstract, Copyright, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States

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