MEPS 255:235-248 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/meps255235

Influence of copepod grazing on concentrations of dissolved dimethylsulfoxide and related sulfur compounds in the North Water, northern Baffin Bay

Peter A. Lee1,4, Patricia A. Saunders2,5, Stephen J. de Mora1,6,*, Don Deibel2, Maurice Levasseur3

1Institut des Sciences de la Mer, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 310 Allée des Ursulines, Rimouski, Québec G5L 3A1, Canada
2Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John¹s, Newfoundland A1C 5S7, Canada
3Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Ministère des Pêches et des Océans, CP 1000, Mont-Joli, Québec G5H 3Z4, Canada
4Present Address: Hollings Marine Laboratory, 331 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, South Carolina 29412, USA
5Present Address: Department of Biology, Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio 44805, USA
6Present Address: International Atomic Energy Agency, Marine Environment Laboratory, 4 Quai Antoine 1er, BP 800, 98012 Monaco
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: The impact of copepod grazing on the biogeochemical cycling of dimethylated-sulfur compounds was investigated in the North Water polynya, northern Baffin Bay, during the period 21 April to 24 June 1998. The results show that zooplankton grazing can influence DMSOd concentrations in addition to those of DMS and DMSPd. This study is the first to demonstrate this effect for DMSOd. Weight-specific production rates for DMSOd due to the presence of copepods in incubation experiments were 0.14 to 23 nmol mg-1 dry wt (DW) d-1 (median = 1.02 nmol mg-1 DW d-1) and were occasionally higher than rates for the production of DMSPd. Weight-specific production rates for dimethylsulfide were 0.011 to 2 nmol mg-1 DW d-1 (median = 0.23 nmol mg-1 DW d-1) and for DMSPd 0.005 to 6.86 nmol mg-1 DW d-1 (median = 0.71 nmol mg-1 DW d-1). In comparison, the volumetric and individual-normalized production rates for DMS and DMSPd, which were used to derive weight-specific production rates for these compounds, were similar to published results. The influence of copepod grazing on the production rates of DMS and DMSPd was statistically significant in more than 85% of the incubation experiments conducted, but in fewer than 50% of the incubations for DMSOd. These results suggest that the impact of copepod grazing might be less important for the biogeochemical cycling of DMSO than that of DMS and DMSP. Analysis of the data indicates that grazing may influence the release of DMSO and DMSP in different ways. A secondary objective of the study was to assess the potential role of copepod grazing on in situ level of DMS, DMSPd and DMSOd in the North Water. Weight-specific production rates were used to calculate in situ production rates, which ranged from 0.002 to 21.7 nmol m-3 d-1 for DMS, from 0.001 to 85.8 nmol m-3 d-1 for DMSPd, and from 0.003 to 184 nmol m-3 d-1 for DMSOd. Comparison of these results with the average concentrations of DMS, DMSPd and DMSOd in the water column of the polynya indicates that copepod grazing was a minor mechanism in the release of these compounds in the North Water.

KEY WORDS: Arctic · Biogeochemical cycles · Copepods · Dimethylsulfide · Dimethylsulfoniopropionate · Dimethylsulfoxide · Grazing · Polynya

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