Diel dynamics of dissolved organic matter and heterotrophic prokaryotes reveal enhanced growth at the ocean's mesopelagic fish layer during daytime

Xose Anxelu G. Moran, Francisca C. García, Anders Røstad, Luis Silva, Najwa Al-Otaibi, Xabier Irigoien, Maria L. Calleja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Contrary to epipelagic waters, where biogeochemical processes closely follow the light and dark periods, little is known about diel cycles in the ocean's mesopelagic realm. Here, we monitored the dynamics of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and planktonic heterotrophic prokaryotes every 2 h for one day at 0 and 550 m (a depth occupied by vertically migrating fishes during light hours) in oligotrophic waters of the central Red Sea. We additionally performed predator-free seawater incubations of samples collected from the same site both at midnight and at noon. Comparable in situ variability in microbial biomass and dissolved organic carbon concentration suggests a diel supply of fresh DOM in both layers. The presence of fishes in the mesopelagic zone during daytime likely promoted a sustained, longer growth of larger prokaryotic cells. The specific growth rates were consistently higher in the noon experiments from both depths (surface: 0.34 vs. 0.18 d-1, mesopelagic: 0.16 vs. 0.09 d-1). Heterotrophic prokaryotes in the mesopelagic layer were also more efficient at converting extant DOM into new biomass. These results suggest that the ocean's twilight zone receives a consistent diurnal supply of labile DOM from diel vertical migrating fishes, enabling an unexpectedly active community of heterotrophic prokaryotes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150098
JournalScience of The Total Environment
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Diel dynamics of dissolved organic matter and heterotrophic prokaryotes reveal enhanced growth at the ocean's mesopelagic fish layer during daytime'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this