Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 75, Issue 6, pp 485–501 | Cite as

Isoprene production in seawater of Funka Bay, Hokkaido, Japan

  • Atsushi OokiEmail author
  • Ryuta Shida
  • Masashi Otsu
  • Hiroji Onishi
  • Naoto Kobayashi
  • Takahiro Iida
  • Daiki Nomura
  • Kota Suzuki
  • Hideyoshi Yamaoka
  • Tetsuya Takatsu
Original Article


We carried out shipboard observations in Funka Bay, Hokkaido, Japan, monthly or bimonthly from December 2015 to November 2016. We measured vertical profiles of isoprene, chlorophyll-a (chl-a), and other parameters from surface to bottom layer (about 95 m) near the center of the bay. We found substantial increases in isoprene concentration in the surface mixed layer from February to March during the peak of the spring diatom bloom, in the bottom layer from March to April after the peak of the bloom, and in the subsurface layer (below the surface mixed layer) in summer from July to August, where there were also substantial chl-a concentration maxima. We attribute the increased isoprene in the surface and subsurface layers to photosynthetic production of isoprene by the dominant phytoplankton in the spring bloom and in summer, and that in the bottom layer to dark production of isoprene by diatom aggregates that settled from the surface euphotic zone. We also measured isoprene production in laboratory incubation experiments. The rates of in situ production of isoprene per unit chl-a in the surface mixed layer during the spring bloom, in the dark bottom layer during the bloom, and in the subsurface layer in summer (0.82, 0.03–0.13, and 7.38 pmol (μg chl-a)−1 day−1, respectively) were consistent with our incubation results. We believe that this is the first report focused on dark production of isoprene by diatoms; the rate of isoprene production under dark conditions ranged from 4% to 16% of that by photosynthesis.


Volatile organic compound (VOC) Phytoplankton Bloom Photosynthesis Dark production C5H8 Hydrocarbon 



We thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments to improve the calculations of isoprene production rates and the ensuing discussion. We also thank the captain and crew of the T/S Ushio-maru of Hokkaido University, School of Fisheries Sciences, for their help in sampling, and Prof. Kuma for his help in our culture experiments. This study was supported in part by a grant for FY 2015–2016 Research Projects from the Hokusui Society Foundation, Sapporo, and by grants-in-aid for scientific research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (nos. 24681001, 16H02929).


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Fisheries SciencesHokkaido UniversityHakodateJapan

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