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Free Content Particulate amino acids in the sea: Effects of primary productivity and biological decomposition

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We measured the flux of amino acids associated with sinking particles collected by sediment traps at two Pacific Ocean sites. These results were compared with results from six other sites where we and others have measured amino acid fluxes. This comparison shows that the flux of amino acids on sinking particles is related to primary productivity. This relationship exists in spite of differences in the oceanic regimes sampled and in the sediment traps, bactericides, and amino acid analysis techniques used. The amount of particulate amino acids leaving the euphotic zone in areas of higher productivity is a higher proportion of the primary production than in less productive areas. And, a larger amount of particulate amino acids reaches deeper waters in more productive areas. However, the particulate amino acids leaving the euphotic zone decompose faster with depth in more productive areas. Faster decomposition below the surface waters in areas of high productivity suggests that (1) decomposition of particulate organic matter may be mediated more by zooplankton and less by microbial processes than in areas of lower productivity, or (2) phytoplankton growing in more productive areas are more easily remineralized than those growing in less productive areas.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1984-11-01

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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