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Title: Large Stimulation of Recalcitrant Dissolved Organic Carbon Degradation by Increasing Ocean Temperatures

Abstract

More than 96% of organic carbon in the ocean is in the dissolved form, most of it with lifetimes of decades to millennia. Yet, we know very little about the temperature sensitivity of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) degradation in a warming ocean. Combining independent estimates from laboratory experiments, oceanographic cruises and a global ocean DOC cycling model, we assess the relationship between DOC decay constants and seawater temperatures. Our results show that the apparent activation energy of DOC decay (E a) increases by three-fold from the labile (lifetime of days) and semi-labile (lifetime of months) to the semi-refractory (lifetime of decades) DOC pools, with only minor differences between the world’s largest ocean basins. This translates into increasing temperature coefficients (Q 10) from 1.7–1.8 to 4–8, showing that the generalized assumption of a constant Q 10 of ~2 for biological rates is not universally applicable for the microbial degradation of DOC in the ocean. Therefore, rising ocean temperatures will preferentially impact the microbial degradation of the more recalcitrant and larger of the three studied pools. Assuming a uniform 1°C warming scenario throughout the ocean, our model predicts a global decrease of the DOC reservoir by 7 ± 1 Pg C. Thismore » represents a 15% reduction of the semi-labile + semi-refractory DOC pools.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Australian Inst. of Marine Science, Townsville, QLD, (Australia)
  2. IIM–CSIC, Inst. de Investigacións Mariñas, Vigo (Spain)
  3. Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States). Earth System Science
  4. Univ. of Miami, Miami, FL (United States). Dept. of Ocean Sciences, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1437211
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1510445
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0016329
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Marine Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2296-7745
Publisher:
Frontiers Research Foundation
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; temperature; dissolved organic carbon; mineralization; Arrhenius law; global ocean biogeochemical model

Citation Formats

Lønborg, Christian, Álvarez–Salgado, Xosé A., Letscher, Robert T., and Hansell, Dennis A. Large Stimulation of Recalcitrant Dissolved Organic Carbon Degradation by Increasing Ocean Temperatures. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.3389/fmars.2017.00436.
Lønborg, Christian, Álvarez–Salgado, Xosé A., Letscher, Robert T., & Hansell, Dennis A. Large Stimulation of Recalcitrant Dissolved Organic Carbon Degradation by Increasing Ocean Temperatures. United States. doi:10.3389/fmars.2017.00436.
Lønborg, Christian, Álvarez–Salgado, Xosé A., Letscher, Robert T., and Hansell, Dennis A. Fri . "Large Stimulation of Recalcitrant Dissolved Organic Carbon Degradation by Increasing Ocean Temperatures". United States. doi:10.3389/fmars.2017.00436.
@article{osti_1437211,
title = {Large Stimulation of Recalcitrant Dissolved Organic Carbon Degradation by Increasing Ocean Temperatures},
author = {Lønborg, Christian and Álvarez–Salgado, Xosé A. and Letscher, Robert T. and Hansell, Dennis A.},
abstractNote = {More than 96% of organic carbon in the ocean is in the dissolved form, most of it with lifetimes of decades to millennia. Yet, we know very little about the temperature sensitivity of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) degradation in a warming ocean. Combining independent estimates from laboratory experiments, oceanographic cruises and a global ocean DOC cycling model, we assess the relationship between DOC decay constants and seawater temperatures. Our results show that the apparent activation energy of DOC decay (Ea) increases by three-fold from the labile (lifetime of days) and semi-labile (lifetime of months) to the semi-refractory (lifetime of decades) DOC pools, with only minor differences between the world’s largest ocean basins. This translates into increasing temperature coefficients (Q10) from 1.7–1.8 to 4–8, showing that the generalized assumption of a constant Q10 of ~2 for biological rates is not universally applicable for the microbial degradation of DOC in the ocean. Therefore, rising ocean temperatures will preferentially impact the microbial degradation of the more recalcitrant and larger of the three studied pools. Assuming a uniform 1°C warming scenario throughout the ocean, our model predicts a global decrease of the DOC reservoir by 7 ± 1 Pg C. This represents a 15% reduction of the semi-labile + semi-refractory DOC pools.},
doi = {10.3389/fmars.2017.00436},
journal = {Frontiers in Marine Science},
issn = {2296-7745},
number = ,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.3389/fmars.2017.00436

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 2 works
Citation information provided by
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Figures / Tables:

TABLE 1 TABLE 1: Summary of values obtained applying the Arrhenius law to experimental DOC degradation.

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    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.