The short-term fate of organic carbon in marine sediments: Comparing the Pakistan margin to other regions

C. Woulds, J.H. Andersson, G.L. Cowie, J.J. Middelburg, L.A. Levin

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    Abstract

    Pulse-chase experiments with isotopically labelled phytodetritus conducted across the Pakistan margin reveal that the impact of biological activities on benthic C-cycling varies markedly among sites exhibiting different seafloor conditions. In this study, patterns of biological C-processing across the Pakistan margin oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) are compared with those observed in previous tracer studies. Variations in site environmental conditions are proposed to explain the considerable variations in C-processing patterns among this and previous studies. Three categories of C-processing pattern are identified: (1) respiration dominated, where respiration accounts for >75% of biological C-processing, and uptake by metazoan macrofauna, foraminifera and bacteria are relatively minor processes. These sites tend to show several (although not necessarily all) of the properties of being cold and deep, and having low inputs of organic carbon to the sediment and relatively low-biomass metazoan macrofaunal communities; (2) active faunal uptake, where respiration accounts for
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)393-402
    JournalDeep Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers
    Volume56
    Issue number6-7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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