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High protein production of phytoplankton in the Amundsen Sea

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Title
High protein production of phytoplankton in the Amundsen Sea
Authors
Song, Ho Jung
Kang, Jae Jung
Kim, Bo Kyung
Joo, HuiTae
Yang, Eun Jin
Park, Jisoo
Lee, SangHoon
Lee, Sang Heon
Subject
Oceanography
Keywords
Amundsen Sea; Polynya; Phytoplankton; Macromolecular production; Protein; Araon
Issue Date
2016
Citation
Song, Ho Jung., et al. High protein production of phytoplankton in the Amundsen Sea. Deep-Sea ResearchII, 123(1): 50-57.
Abstract
The Amundsen Sea polynya is one of the largest and most productive polynyas in the Southern Ocean and has recently experienced a rapid change in sea ice coverage. However, very little is known about current physiological status of phytoplankton and its quality as food for pelagic herbivores and consequently higher trophic levels in the Amundsen Sea. Using a 13C isotope tracer technique, macromolecular production measurements of phytoplankton at eleven stations were conducted at three light depths (100, 30, and 1%) onboard R/V ARAON in the Amundsen Sea, 2012. The concentrations of major inorganic nutrients were replete at all the productivity stations and no substantial difference in macromolecular production was found between polynya and non-polynya regions. Distinct vertical trends were not observed in low-molecular-weight metabolites (LMWM) and polysaccharide produc-tions, but weak vertical patterns in lipid and protein productions were found during our cruise period. The vertical patterns of lipids slightly increased with depth whereas decreased for protein synthesis in this study, and these vertical trends were not consistent with the results reported previously in the Arctic Ocean. Overall, phytoplankton allocated more photosynthetic carbon into proteins (60.0%) than other macromolecules in the Amundsen Sea, which is markedly higher than those reported previously in the Antarctic Ocean, ranging from 7 to 23%. The high protein synthesis appears to be sustained by high concentrations of major nutrients, which might be a strong factor for general patterns of macromole- cular productions of phytoplankton in polar oceans, even under potential iron limitation.
DOI
10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.07.015
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