, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp 501-506

First online:

Southeastern U.S.A. continental shelf respiratory rates revisited

  • Joan E. SheldonAffiliated withDepartment of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia Email author 
  • , Peter C. GriffithAffiliated withSigma Space Corporation, Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Office, Code 614.4, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • , Francesc PetersAffiliated withInstitut de Ciencies del Mar, CSIC
  • , Wade M. SheldonJr.Affiliated withDepartment of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia
  • , Jackson O. BlantonAffiliated withSkidaway Institute of Oceanography
  • , Julie AmftAffiliated withSkidaway Institute of Oceanography
  • , Lawrence R. PomeroyAffiliated withInstitute of Ecology, University of Georgia

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Respiratory rates on the U. S. southeastern continental shelf have been estimated several times by different investigators, most recently by Jiang et al. (Biogeochemistry 98:101–113, 2010) who report lower mean rates than were found in earlier work and attribute the differences to analytical error in all methods used in earlier studies. The differences are, instead, attributable to the differences in the geographical scope of the studies. The lower estimates of regional organic carbon flux of Jiang et al. (Biogeochemistry 98:101–113, 2010) are a consequence of their extrapolation of data from a small portion of the shelf to the entire South Atlantic Bight. This comment examines the methodologies used as well as the variability of respiratory rates in this region over space and time.


Microbial respiration Southeastern U. S. continental shelf Dissolved oxygen Bacteria