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Aquatic Microbial Ecology


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AME 83:95-108 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01902

Potential role of oxygen and inorganic nutrients on microbial carbon turnover in the Baltic Sea

Marie Maßmig1,*, Judith Piontek1,2, Frédéric A. C. Le Moigne1,3, Carolina Cisternas-Novoa1, Anja Engel1

1GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, 24105 Kiel, Germany
2Present address: Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, 18119 Rostock, Germany
3Present address: Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, UM 110, Aix Marseille Univ., Université 6 de Toulon, CNRS, IRD, 13288, Marseille, France
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Oxygen (O2) deficiency and nutrient concentrations in marine systems are impacting organisms from microbes to higher trophic levels. In coastal and enclosed seas, O2 deficiency is often related to eutrophication and high degradation rates of organic matter. To investigate the impact of O2 concentration on bacterial growth and the turnover of organic matter, we conducted multifactorial batch experiments with natural microbial communities of the central Baltic Sea. Water was collected from suboxic (<5 µmol l-1) depths in the Gotland Basin during June 2015. Samples were kept for 4 d under fully oxygenated and low O2 conditions (mean: 34 µmol l-1 O2), with or without nutrient (ammonium, phosphate and nitrate) and labile carbon (glucose) amendments. We measured bacterial abundance, bacterial heterotrophic production, extracellular enzyme rates (leucine-aminopeptidase) and changes in dissolved and particulate organic carbon concentrations. Our results show that the bacterial turnover of organic matter was limited by nutrients under both oxic and low O2 conditions. In nutrient- and glucose-replete treatments, low O2 concentrations significantly reduced the net uptake of dissolved organic carbon and led to greater accumulation of more labile dissolved organic matter. Our results therewith suggest that the combined effects of eutrophication and deoxygenation on heterotrophic bacterial activity might favor the accumulation of dissolved organic carbon in the Baltic Sea.


KEY WORDS: Oxygen · Heterotrophic bacteria · Baltic Sea · Organic matter · Bacterial heterotrophic production · Extracellular enzymes · Leucine-aminopeptidase


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Cite this article as: Maßmig M, Piontek J, Le Moigne FAC, Cisternas-Novoa C, Engel A (2019) Potential role of oxygen and inorganic nutrients on microbial carbon turnover in the Baltic Sea. Aquat Microb Ecol 83:95-108. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01902

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