Seawater carbonate chemistry and microbial polysaccharide degradation during experiments with phytoplankton Emiliania huxleyi (strain PML B92/11) and natural bacteria community, 2010, supplement to: Piontek, Judith; Lunau, Mirko; Händel, Nicole; Borchard, Corinna; Wurst, Mascha; Engel, Anja (2010): Acidification increases microbial polysaccharide degradation in the ocean. Biogeosciences, 7(5), 1615-1625


With the accumulation of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2), a proceeding decline in seawater pH has been induced that is referred to as ocean acidification. The ocean's capacity for CO2 storage is strongly affected by biological processes, whose feedback potential is difficult to evaluate. The main source of CO2 in the ocean is the decomposition and subsequent respiration of organic molecules by heterotrophic bacteria. However, very little is known about potential effects of ocean acidification on bacterial degradation activity. This study reveals that the degradation of polysaccharides, a major component of marine organic matter, by bacterial extracellular enzymes was significantly accelerated during experimental simulation of ocean acidification. Results were obtained from pH perturbation experiments, where rates of extracellular alpha- and beta-glucosidase were measured and the loss of neutral and acidic sugars from phytoplankton-derived polysaccharides was determined. Our study suggests that a faster bacterial turnover of polysaccharides at lowered ocean pH has the potential to reduce carbon export and to enhance the respiratory CO2 production in the future ocean.

Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Piontek, Judith; Lunau, Mirko; Händel, Nicole; Borchard, Corinna; Wurst, Mascha; Engel, Anja
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 2010
Funding Reference Seventh Framework Programme
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 452 data points
Discipline Earth System Research