MEPS 202:27-40 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/meps202027

Dynamics of dimethylsulfide production from dissolved dimethylsulfoniopropionate in the Labrador Sea

Sabine Schultes1,2, Maurice Levasseur1,*, Sonia Michaud1, Guy Cantin1, Gordon Wolfe1, Michel Gosselin2, Stephen de Mora2

1Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Ministère des Pêches et des Océans, C.P. 1000, Mont-Joli, Québec G5H 3Z4, Canada
2Département d¹océanographie, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 310 Allée des Ursulines, Rimouski, Québec G5L 3A1, Canada
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: The dynamics of the cleavage of dissolved dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSPd) to dimethylsulfide (DMS) were measured experimentally in the surface waters of the Labrador Sea in spring 1997. At in situ DMSPd concentrations, DMS production and consumption processes were generally in balance. Two stations in the central Labrador Sea displayed net DMS production of approximately 2 nmol l-1 h-1, DMSPd net consumption of 3.48 nmol l-1 h-1 and a net DMS production yield from DMSPd of 60% at near in situ DMSPd concentrations. Similar to general bacterial substrate utilization in cold waters, DMS production in the Labrador Sea seemed to be temperature and substrate limited. Following DMSPd additions, linear and non-linear net DMS production were observed. The non-linear response was characterized by a lag in DMS production and was associated with the cold, polar waters of the Labrador and West Greenland Currents. Net DMS production rates measured after DMSPd addition were proportional to the added amount of DMSPd. No saturation of the net DMS production rate was observed for concentrations up to 5000 nmol DMSPd l-1. First order rate constants determined for these DMS production kinetics suggest an average turnover time of DMSPd by cleavage to DMS of 3.8 d (2.7 to 5.2 d). At water temperatures of -1.3 to 8°C, potential net DMS production rates measured following DMSPd additions were comparable and even higher than those previously published for temperate and warm oceanic and coastal regions. The net DMS production potential varied by 1 order of magnitude (1.7 to 18.4 nmol DMS l-1 h-1) throughout the study area. Causal links established with path analysis indicate that this potential seemed to be controlled by water temperature and chlorophyll a concentrations.

KEY WORDS: Dimethylsulfide (DMS) · Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) · Production rates · Low temperature · Bacteria · Substrate utilization

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