Polar Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 785–794 | Cite as

Evidence of heterotrophic prokaryotic activity limitation by nitrogen in the Western Arctic Ocean during summer

  • E. Ortega-Retuerta
  • W. H. Jeffrey
  • J. F. Ghiglione
  • F. Joux
Short Note

Abstract

Global warming in the Arctic Ocean may result in changes to the stock and dynamics of nutrients that drive the activity of heterotrophic prokaryotes, a key component of the microbial food web. We performed 14 enrichment experiments during summer in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas (Western Arctic Ocean), with C (acetate and/or glucose), N (nitrate and/or ammonium) and P (phosphate) amendments. In 8 out of 11 experiments performed with surface waters, prokaryotic heterotrophic production was limited by N, either alone (5 experiments) or in co-limitation with C (3 experiments). This contrasted with the experiments performed using waters from the chlorophyll maxima, where N was never limiting. Diversity analyses (DNA- and RNA-based fingerprinting) suggest that limitation was not restricted to specific operational taxonomic units but common to the different groups. This is the first report of N limitation of prokaryotic heterotrophic production in Arctic surface waters. This control by N may gain importance in future scenarios of higher productivity in the area.

Keywords

Heterotrophic prokaryotes Production Abundance Community structure Nutrient limitation Arctic Ocean 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Ortega-Retuerta
    • 1
    • 2
  • W. H. Jeffrey
    • 3
  • J. F. Ghiglione
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. Joux
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Océanographie Microbienne, Observatoire OcéanologiqueUPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7621Banyuls/merFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Océanographie Microbienne, Observatoire OcéanologiqueCNRS, UMR 7621Banyuls/merFrance
  3. 3.Center for Environmental Diagnostics and BioremediationUniversity of West FloridaPensacolaUSA

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