Carbon fluxes in the Canadian Arctic: Patterns and drivers of bacterial abundance, production and respiration on the Beaufort Sea margin

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Abstract

During August 2009, measurements of bacterial abundance and nucleic acid content were made along with production and respiration in coastal waters of the Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean), an area influenced by the Mackenzie River inflow. The main purpose was to evaluate bacterial organic carbon processing with respect to local sources, mainly primary production and river inputs. Bacterial production and abundance generally decreased from river to offshore waters and from surface to deep waters. In contrast, the percentage of high nucleic acid bacteria was higher in deep waters rather than in surface or river waters. Statistical analyses indicated that bacterial production was primarily controlled by temperature and the availability of labile organic matter, as indicated by total dissolved amino acid concentrations. Direct comparisons of bacterial carbon demand and primary production indicated net heterotrophy was common in shelf waters. Net autotrophy was observed at stations in the Mackenzie River plume, suggesting that the carbon fixed in plume waters helped fuel net heterotrophy in the Beaufort Sea margin. © 2012 Author(s).

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Ortega-Retuerta, E., Jeffrey, W. H., Babin, M., Bélanger, S., Benner, R., Marie, D., … Joux, F. (2012). Carbon fluxes in the Canadian Arctic: Patterns and drivers of bacterial abundance, production and respiration on the Beaufort Sea margin. Biogeosciences, 9(9), 3679–3692. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-3679-2012

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