Biogeochemistry of sediments in the Aegean Sea, supplement to: Danovaro, Roberto; Marrale, Daniela; Della Croce, Norberto; Parodi, P; Fabiano, Mauro (1999): Biochemical composition of sedimentary organic matter and bacterial distribution in the Aegean Sea: Trophic state and pelagic-benthic coupling. Journal of Sea Research, 42/2, 117-129


Biochemical composition of sedimentary organic matter (OM), vertical fluxes and bacterial distribution were studied at 15 stations (95-2270 m depth) in the Aegean Sea during spring and summer. Downward fluxes of labile OM were significantly higher in the northern than in the southern part and were higher in summer than in spring. Primary inputs of OM were not related to sedimentary OM concentrations, which had highest values in summer. Sedimentary chlorophyll-a concentrations were similar in the northern and southern parts. Carbohydrates, the main component of sedimentary OM, were about 1.2 times higher in the southern part than in the northern, without significant temporal changes. Total proteins were higher in summer and about double in the northern part. Sedimentary proteins appeared more dependent upon the downward flux of phytopigment than of proteins. Sedimentary OM was characterised by a relatively large fraction of soluble compounds and showed better quality in the northern part. The lack of a depth-related pattern in sedimentary OM and the similar concentrations in the two areas suggest that differences in sedimentary OM quality in the Aegean basin are dependent on system productivity; the bulk of sedimentary OM is largely conservative. Sedimentary bacterial density was about double in the northern part and higher in spring than in summer, but bacterial size was about three times higher in summer, resulting in a larger bacterial biomass in summer. Bacterial density was coupled with total and protein fluxes, indicating a rapid bacterial response to pelagic production. Bacterial biomass was significantly correlated with sedimentary protein and phytopigment concentrations, indicating a clear response to accumulation of labile OM in the sediments. In all cases bacteria accounted for <5% of the organic C and N pools. The efficiency of benthic bacteria in exploiting protein pools, estimated as amounts of protein available per unit bacterial biomass, indicates a constant ratio of about 70 µg proteins/µg C. This suggests a similar bacterial efficiency all over the area studied, unaffected by different trophic conditions.

Metadata Access
Creator Danovaro, Roberto;Marrale, Daniela;Fabiano, Mauro;Parodi, P;Della Croce, Norberto
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 1999
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC-BY)
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Collection of Datasets
Format application/zip
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (25N-41N,24E-40E)
Temporal Point 1997-03-01T11:59:59Z