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Possible impacts of zooplankton grazing on dimethylsulfide production in the Antarctic Ocean

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The role of zooplankton grazing on dimethylsulfide (DMS) and dissolved dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSPd) production was investigated in the Antarctic Ocean in January and February 2002. Dominant herbivorous macrozooplankton of this region, the Antarctic krill Euphausia superba and the tunicate Salpa thompsoni, were used in shipboard incubation experiments. The concentration of DMSPd + DMS increased in the water during incubation with krill. The production rate was 2.96 ± 2.78 nmol DMSPd + DMS·krill–1·h–1 (mean ± SD). In addition, the DMSPd + DMS production rate was linearly related to the ingestion rate of krill (r2 = 0.664, p ≤ 0.01). Addition of salps to natural surface water, however, did not change the DMSPd + DMS concentrations. During the experiments, both animals fed on phytoplankton cells. The fecal pellets of krill contained broken phytoplankton cells, whereas those of salps contained unbroken cells. These results suggest that sloppy feeding by krill is a more likely mechanism for producing DMS and DMSPd than the direct ingestion of phytoplankton cells by salps. The decrease of DMS concentrations in the upper 200 m of the water column from January to February may be explained, in part, by changes in the composition of the macrozooplankton community.

En janvier et février 2002, nous avons étudié le rôle du broutage du zooplancton sur la production de sulfure de diméthyle et de diméthylsulfoniopropionate dissous (DMSPd) dans l'océan Antarctique. Nous avons aussi utilisé le krill antarctique Euphausia superba et le tunicier Salpa thompsoni, les espèces dominantes du macrozooplancton de la région, dans des expériences d'incubation à bord. Les concentrations de DMSPd + DMS augmentent dans l'eau durant l'incubation avec le krill. Le taux de production est de 2,96 ± 2,78 nmol DMSPd + DMS·krill–1·h–1 (moyenne ± écart type). De plus, le taux de production de DMSPd + DMS est en corrélation linéaire avec le taux d'ingestion du krill (r2 = 0,664, p ≤ 0,01). En revanche, l'addition de salpes à de l'eau naturelle de surface ne change pas la concentration de DMSPd + DMS. Durant l'expérience, les deux espèces d'animaux se nourrissent de cellules du phytoplancton. Les boulettes fécales du krill contiennent des cellules de phytoplancton brisées, alors que celles des salpes contiennent des cellules intactes. Ces résultats indiquent que l'alimentation brouillonne du krill est un mécanisme plus probable de production de DMS et de DMSPd que l'ingestion directe des cellules du phytoplancton par les salpes. Le déclin des concentrations de DMS dans les 200 m supérieurs de la colonne d'eau en janvier et en février peut s'expliquer, en partie, par les changements dans la communauté du macrozooplancton.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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