Aquatic Sciences

, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 377–387 | Cite as

Influence of water mixing on the inhibitory effect of UV radiation on primary and bacterial production in Mediterranean coastal water

  • Roberto Bertoni
  • Wade H. Jeffrey
  • Mireille Pujo-Pay
  • Louise Oriol
  • Pascal Conan
  • Fabien JouxEmail author
Research Article


The scaling of the solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR, 280–400 nm) effect on phyto- and bacterio-plankton at the ecosystem level is difficult since its estimate is often based on short-time incubation experiments performed at fixed depths, neglecting the previous days’ radiation history and the variable radiation caused by vertical mixing. To examine this issue, we measured primary (PP) and bacterial (BP) production in samples from coastal water in the Northwest Mediterranean Sea incubated at fixed depths or moving vertically within the water column (0–8 m) with a periodicity of 22 min, exposed to full sun, PAR or maintained in dark. Three experiments were carried out on consecutive days to measure day-to-day variations in planktonic response. In surface waters, PP was inhibited by ~32 to 42% by UVR, and BP was inhibited by ~50 to 70% by solar radiation (UVR + PAR). We observed a general decrease in the integrated inhibition of PP due to UVR for both fixed and moving incubations over the 3 days from ~27% of inhibition to non-significant inhibition. In contrast, large discrepancies were observed in the integrated inhibition of BP due to solar radiation (UVR + PAR) between fixed and moving incubations. Whereas both type of incubations gave similar estimation of solar radiation inhibition on day 1 (~25%), inhibition became much higher for fixed incubation compared to moving incubation on days 2 and 3. Differences in responses between days suggest that light history, spectral quality, photoadaptation or acclimation may be important factors in daily observed responses. Our results also underline, for the first time, the importance of the vertical mixing in the BP inhibition by solar radiation.


Primary production Bacterial production Mediterranean sea Ultraviolet radiation Vertical mixing 



We thank the crew of the Service d’Observation du Laboratoire Arago for their assistance during field sampling and incubation. We also acknowledge Météo France for the release of the wind speed data and E. Balseiro for revising the early version of the manuscript. This study was funded by the CNRS-PROOF program (“Induction of microbial community responses and dissolved organic matter transformation by UltraViolet radiation in marine ECOsystems” [UVECO] project) and by National Science Foundation Office of International Science and Engineering U.S-France Cooperative Science Program grant 0340764 to W.H.J.

Supplementary material

27_2011_185_MOESM1_ESM.doc (262 kb)
Supplementary Fig S1 (DOC 263 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Bertoni
    • 1
  • Wade H. Jeffrey
    • 2
  • Mireille Pujo-Pay
    • 3
    • 4
  • Louise Oriol
    • 3
    • 4
  • Pascal Conan
    • 3
    • 4
  • Fabien Joux
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.CNR Istituto per lo Studio degli EcosistemiVerbania, PallanzaItaly
  2. 2.Center for Environmental Diagnostics and BioremediationUniversity of West FloridaPensacolaUSA
  3. 3.UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7621, Laboratoire d’Océanographie Microbienne, Observatoire OcéanologiqueBanyuls/merFrance
  4. 4.CNRS, UMR 7621, Laboratoire d’Océanographie Microbienne, Observatoire OcéanologiqueBanyuls/merFrance

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