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Author Stukel, M.R.; Biard, T.; Krause, J.W.; Ohman, M.D.
Title Large Phaeodaria in the twilight zone: Their role in the carbon cycle Type $loc['typeJournal Article']
Year 2018 Publication Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages
Keywords Carbon cycle; Ocean; Twilight zone, Rhizarian measurements; Aulosphaeridae
Abstract Advances in in situ imaging allow enumeration of abundant populations of large Rhizarians that compose a substantial proportion of total mesozooplankton biovolume. Using a quasi-Lagrangian sampling scheme, we quantified the abundance, vertical distributions, and sinking&#8208;related mortality of Aulosphaeridae, an abundant family of Phaeodaria in the California Current Ecosystem. Inter&#8208;cruise variability was high, with average concentrations at the depth of maximum abundance ranging from < 10 to > 300 cells m&#8722;3, with seasonal and interannual variability associated with temperature&#8208;preferences and regional shoaling of the 10°C isotherm. Vertical profiles showed that these organisms were consistently most abundant at 100&#65533;150&#8201;m depth. Average turnover times with respect to sinking were 4.7&#65533;10.9 d, equating to minimum in situ population growth rates of ~ 0.1&#65533;0.2 d&#8722;1. Using simultaneous measurements of sinking organic carbon, we find that these organisms could only meet their carbon demand if their carbon : volume ratio were ~ 1 &#956;g C mm&#8722;3. This value is substantially lower than previously used in global estimates of rhizarian biomass, but is reasonable for organisms that use large siliceous tests to inflate their cross&#8208;sectional area without a concomitant increase in biomass. We found that Aulosphaeridae alone can intercept > 20% of sinking particles produced in the euphotic zone before these particles reach a depth of 300&#8201;m. Our results suggest that the local (and likely global) carbon biomass of Aulosphaeridae, and probably the large Rhizaria overall, needs to be revised downwards, but that these organisms nevertheless play a major role in carbon flux attenuation in the twilight zone.
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