Low water column nitrogen fixation in the Mediterranean Sea: Basin-wide experimental evidence

Nona S.R. Agawin*, Antonio Tovar-Sanchez, Lucas J. Stal, Marta Alvarez, Susana Agusti, Carlos Duarte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The abundance and nitrogen fixation rates of Trichodesmium sp. integrated down to the deep chlorophyll maximum as well as nitrogen fixation rates in size-fractionated discrete surface water samples were measured across the Mediterranean Sea. The abundance of Trichodesmium sp. was generally low (<50 trichomes m -3), except at one station in the Tyrrhenian Sea where the water temperature was <20°C and Trichodesmium sp. was present at a higher density (ca. 700 trichomes m -3). Across the basin, size-fractionated nitrogen fixation rates were low (<250 nmol N 2 m -3 h -1). The highest rate was measured at a station characterized by relatively high concentrations of total dissolved P and dissolved Fe. Highδ 15N values (8.04 ± 2.03 %o) of the particulate organic nitrogen were in accordance with the observed low water column nitrogen fixation rates across the Mediterranean Sea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-147
Number of pages13
JournalAquatic Microbial Ecology
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 4 2011

Keywords

  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Trichodesmium sp.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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