A cryptic sulfur cycle in oxygen minimum zone waters off the Chilean coast

  • Canfield D
  • Stewart F
  • Thamdrup B
 et al. 
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Abstract

Nitrogen cycling is normally thought to dominate the biogeochemistry and microbial ecology of oxygen-minimum zones in marine environments. Through a combination of molecular techniques and process rate measurements, we showed that both sulfate reduction and sulfide oxidation contribute to energy flux and elemental cycling in oxygen-free waters off the coast of northern Chile. These processes may have been overlooked because in nature, the sulfide produced by sulfate reduction immediately oxidizes back to sulfate. This cryptic sulfur cycle is linked to anammox and other nitrogen cycling processes, suggesting that it may influence biogeochemical cycling in the global ocean.

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Authors

  • D E Canfield

  • F J Stewart

  • B Thamdrup

  • L De Brabandere

  • T Dalsgaard

  • E F Delong

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