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Microbiology

, Volume 76, Issue 5, pp 603–613 | Cite as

Microbial processes of the carbon and sulfur cycles in the Chukchi Sea

  • A. S. SavvichevEmail author
  • I. I. Rusanov
  • N. V. Pimenov
  • E. E. Zakharova
  • E. F. Veslopolova
  • A. Yu. Lein
  • K. Crane
  • M. V. Ivanov
Experimental Articles

Abstract

The research performed in August 2004 within the framework of the Russian-American Long-term Census of the Arctic (RUSALCA) resulted in the first data concerning the rates of the key microbial processes in the water column and bottom sediments of the Bering strait and the Chukchi Sea. The total bacterial counts in the water column varied from 30 × 103 cells ml−1 in the northern and eastern parts to 245 × 103 cells ml−1 in the southern part. The methane content in the water column of the Chukchi sea varied from 8 nmol CH4l−1 in the eastern part of the sea to 31 nmol CH4l−1 in the northern part of the Herald Canyon. Microbial activity occurred in the upper 0–3 cm of the bottom sediments; the methane formation rate varied from 0.25 to 16 nmol CH4dm−3 day−1. The rates of methane oxidation varied from 1.61 to 14.7 nmol CH4dm−3 day−1. The rates of sulfate reduction varied from 1.35 to 16.2 μmol SO 4 2− dm−1 day−1. The rate of methane formation in the sediments increased with depth, while sulfate reduction rates decreased (less than 1 μmol SO 4 2− dm−3 day−1). These high concentrations of biogenic elements and high rates of microbial processes in the upper sediment layers suggest a specific type of trophic chain in the Chukchi Sea. The approximate calculated balance of methane emission from the water column into the atmosphere is from 5.4 to 57.3 μmol CH4m−2 day−1.

Key words

microbial processes methane cycle sulfate reduction stable carbon isotopes (δ 13C) Arctic seas Chukchi Sea 

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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. S. Savvichev
    • 1
    Email author
  • I. I. Rusanov
    • 1
  • N. V. Pimenov
    • 1
  • E. E. Zakharova
    • 1
  • E. F. Veslopolova
    • 1
  • A. Yu. Lein
    • 2
  • K. Crane
    • 3
  • M. V. Ivanov
    • 1
  1. 1.Winogradsky Institute of MicrobiologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Shirshov Institute of OceanologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationUSA

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