Articles | Volume 11, issue 16
Biogeosciences, 11, 4529–4540, 2014
Biogeosciences, 11, 4529–4540, 2014

Research article 27 Aug 2014

Research article | 27 Aug 2014

Temperature dependence of planktonic metabolism in the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean

L. S. García-Corral1, E. Barber1, A. Regaudie-de-Gioux7, S. Sal2, J. M. Holding1, S. Agustí1,3, N. Navarro4, P. Serret5, P. Mozetič6, and C. M. Duarte1,3 L. S. García-Corral et al.
  • 1Department of Global Change Research, IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB) Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados , Miquel Marqués 21, 07190 Esporles, Spain
  • 2Centro Oceanográfico de Gijón, Instituto Español de Oceanografia, Avenida Principe de Asturias, 70 bis, 33212 Gijón, Spain
  • 3The UWA Oceans Institute and School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley 6009, Australia
  • 4Área de Biodiversidad y Conservación ESCET, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Tulipán s/n, Móstoles, 28933 Madrid, Spain
  • 5Departamento de Ecología y Biología Animal, Universidad de Vigo, 36200, Spain
  • 6National Institute of Biology, Marine Biology Station, Fornace 41, 6330 Piran, Slovenia
  • 7Laboratório Aquarela, Centro de Biologia Marinha da Universidade de São Paulo (CEBIMAR), Rodovia Manoel Hypólito do Rego, Km 131.5 Praia do Cabelo Gordo, São Sebastião 11600-000, SP, Brazil

Abstract. The temperature dependence of planktonic metabolism in the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean was assessed on the basis of measurements of gross primary production (GPP), community respiration (CR) and net community production (NCP), as well as experimental assessments of the response of CR to temperature manipulations. Metabolic rates were measured at 68 stations along three consecutive longitudinal transects completed during the Malaspina 2010 Expedition, in three different seasons. Temperature gradients were observed in depth and at basin and seasonal scale. The results showed seasonal variability in the metabolic rates, the highest rates being observed during the spring transect. The overall mean integrated GPP / CR ratio was 1.39 ± 0.27 decreasing from winter to summer, and the NCP for the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean during the cruises exhibits net autotrophy (NCP > 0) in about two-thirds (66%) of the total sampled communities. Also, we reported the activation energies describing the temperature dependence of planktonic community metabolism, which was generally higher for CR than for GPP in the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean, as the metabolic theory of ecology predicts. Furthermore, we made a comparison of activation energies describing the responses to in situ temperature in the field (EaCR = 1.64 ± 0.36 eV) and those derived experimentally by temperature manipulations (EaCR = 1.45 ± 0.6 eV), which showed great consistency.

Final-revised paper