AME 53:281-294 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01255

Contrasting seasonal patterns in dimethylsulfide, dimethylsulfoniopropionate, and chlorophyll a in a shallow North Carolina estuary and the Sargasso Sea

William G. Sunda*, D. Ransom Hardison

National Ocean Service, NOAA, 101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, USA

ABSTRACT: Time series measurements of dimethylsulfide (DMS), particulate dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP p), chlorophyll a (chl a), algal pigments, major nutrients, and the potential activity of DMSP lyase enzymes were made over a 2 yr period (6 March 2003 to 28 March 2005) near the mouth of the shallow, tidally mixed Newport River estuary, North Carolina, USA. DMSP p had a mean of 43 ± 20 nM (range = 10.5 to 141 nM, n = 85) and DMS a mean of 2.7 ± 1.2 nM (range = 0.9 to 7.0 nM). The mean DMS in Gallants Channel was not significantly different from that measured in the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda during a previous 3 yr time series study (2.4 ± 1.5 nM), despite there being a 43-fold higher mean chl a concentration (4.9 ± 2.4 µg l–1) at the coastal site. In winter, DMS was low and chl a was high in the surface waters of the Sargasso Sea, while the opposite was true at the coastal site. Consequently, DMS concentrations per unit algal chl a were on average 170 times higher in the Sargasso Sea than at the coastal site during the summer, but only 7 times higher during the winter. The much higher chl a-specific DMS concentrations at the oceanic site during the summer were linked to higher ratios of intracellular DMSP substrate and DMSP lyase enzyme per unit chl a. These differences in turn appear to be linked to large differences in nutrient concentrations and solar UV stress at the 2 sites and to associated differences in the composition of algal assemblages and physiological acclimation of algal cells.


KEY WORDS: Dimethylsulfide · DMS · Dimethylsulfoniopropionate · DMSP · DMSP lyase · Phytoplankton · Chlorophyll a · Pigments · Nutrients · Seasonal patterns · Climate


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Cite this article as: Sunda WG, Hardison DR (2008) Contrasting seasonal patterns in dimethylsulfide, dimethylsulfoniopropionate, and chlorophyll a in a shallow North Carolina estuary and the Sargasso Sea. Aquat Microb Ecol 53:281-294. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01255

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