The Characterization of Organic Matter in Abyssal Sediments, Pore Waters and Sediment Traps View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:Chapter     


Chapter Info

DATE

1992

AUTHORS

Stephen A. Macko

ABSTRACT

Substantial information regarding the history, source and transfer of both carbon and nitrogen to and within the deep sea lies in the chemical and isotopic signals of organic materials. Isotopic and chemical characterization of sediment trap samples indicate that the captured particulate materials are an organic rich food source for abyssal organisms which become highly altered at or just below the sediment water interface. An enrichment in nitrogen isotopes with a decline in the amount of nitrogen that can be characterized as amino acids is indicative of the diagenetic pathway, possibly the result of peptide bond hydrolysis, followed by bacterial utilization of the free amino acids or shorter chain peptides. Nearly 100% of the nitrogen can be characterized as amino acids in sediment trap materials, whereas only approximately 2 to 4% of the nitrogen in surficial sediments could be identified as being amino acids. Porewater amino acids are chemically distinct from the bound amino acids within the sediments and are typically present at heightened levels (μm/L) only in the upper 10 cm of sediment. The decline in porewater amino acids correlates closely, on a molar basis, with the increase in the porewater ammonium over that depth range. Elucidation of the transfer of organic carbon and nitrogen in deep-sea food chains is facilitated through the use of stable isotopic compositions of tissues of higher trophic level animals and their potential prey items. Trophic levels in food webs are delineated by an approximately 30%∘; enrichment in 15N with each level. Through new developments in isotope geochemistry, routine characterization of the 13C compositions of individual molecular components is now possible. Such a union of chemical analysis with isotopic compositions now offers a unique, extremely powerful tool in the delineation of production, and utilization of carbon compounds produced by abyssal organisms. More... »

PAGES

325-338

Book

TITLE

Deep-Sea Food Chains and the Global Carbon Cycle

ISBN

978-94-010-5082-1
978-94-011-2452-2

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/978-94-011-2452-2_20

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-2452-2_20

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1016875999


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