Marine Biology

, Volume 159, Issue 11, pp 2503–2518 | Cite as

Effects of rising temperature on pelagic biogeochemistry in mesocosm systems: a comparative analysis of the AQUASHIFT Kiel experiments

  • Julia Wohlers-Zöllner
  • Antje Biermann
  • Anja Engel
  • Petra Dörge
  • Aleksandra M. Lewandowska
  • Markus von Scheibner
  • Ulf Riebesell
Original Paper


A comparative analysis of data, obtained during four indoor-mesocosm experiments with natural spring plankton communities from the Baltic Sea, was conducted to investigate whether biogeochemical cycling is affected by an increase in water temperature of up to 6 °C above present-day conditions. In all experiments, warming stimulated in particular heterotrophic bacterial processes and had an accelerating effect on the temporal development of phytoplankton blooms. This was also mirrored in the build-up and partitioning of organic matter between particulate and dissolved phases. Thus, warming increased both the magnitude and rate of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) build-up, whereas the accumulation of particulate organic carbon (POC) and phosphorus (POP) decreased with rising temperature. In concert, the observed temperature-mediated changes in biogeochemical components suggest strong shifts in the functioning of marine pelagic food webs and the ocean’s biological carbon pump, hence providing potential feedback mechanisms to Earth’s climate system.


Particulate Organic Matter Particulate Organic Carbon Experimental Warming Dissolve Organic Phosphorus Bloom Period 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank A. Ludwig, N. Händel and P. Fritsche for their technical assistance in sample preparation and analysis. All members of the Kiel AQUASHIFT-team are appreciated for their help during the experiments. We are particularly grateful to E. Zöllner and the anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This work was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) grant no. RI 598/2-3 to U. R. and A. E. and by the Helmholtz Association (contract no. HZ-NG-102 to A. E.).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Wohlers-Zöllner
    • 1
    • 4
  • Antje Biermann
    • 1
  • Anja Engel
    • 2
    • 6
  • Petra Dörge
    • 1
    • 5
  • Aleksandra M. Lewandowska
    • 1
  • Markus von Scheibner
    • 3
  • Ulf Riebesell
    • 1
  1. 1.Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)KielGermany
  2. 2.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ScienceBremerhavenGermany
  3. 3.Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea ResearchRostock-WarnemündeGermany
  4. 4.University of BergenBergenNorway
  5. 5.University Medical Centre Schleswig–Holstein (UKSH)KielGermany
  6. 6.Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)KielGermany

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