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  • European Marine Science
  • 2019-2023
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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Geerlings, Nicole M. J.; Zetsche, Eva-Maria; Hidalgo-Martinez, Silvia; Middelburg, Jack J.; +1 Authors

    Cable bacteria are multicellular, filamentous microorganisms that are capable of transporting electrons over centimeter-scale distances. Although recently discovered, these bacteria appear to be widely present in the seafloor, and when active they exert a strong imprint on the local geochemistry. In particular, their electrogenic metabolism induces unusually strong pH excursions in aquatic sediments, which induces considerable mineral dissolution, and subsequent mineral reprecipitation. However, at present, it is unknown whether and how cable bacteria play an active or direct role in the mineral reprecipitation process. To this end we present an explorative study of the formation of sedimentary minerals in and near filamentous cable bacteria using a combined approach of electron microscopy and spectroscopic techniques. Our observations reveal the formation of polyphosphate granules within the cells and two different types of biomineral formation directly associated with multicellular filaments of these cable bacteria: (i) the attachment and incorporation of clay particles in a coating surrounding the bacteria and (ii) encrustation of the cell envelope by iron minerals. These findings suggest a complex interaction between cable bacteria and the surrounding sediment matrix, and a substantial imprint of the electrogenic metabolism on mineral diagenesis and sedimentary biogeochemical cycling. In particular, the encrustation process leaves many open questions for further research. For example, we hypothesize that the complete encrustation of filaments might create a diffusion barrier and negatively impact the metabolism of the cable bacteria.

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    Copernicus Publications
    Other ORP type . 2019
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      Copernicus Publications
      Other ORP type . 2019
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    Authors: Coffinet, Sarah; Meador, Travis B.; Mühlena, Lukas; Becker, Kevin W.; +6 Authors

    Butanetriol and pentanetriol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (BDGTs and PDGTs) are membrane lipids, recently discovered in sedimentary environments and in the methanogenic archaeon Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis. They possess an unusual structure, which challenges fundamental assumptions in lipid biochemistry. Indeed, they bear a butanetriol or a pentanetriol backbone instead of a glycerol at one end of their core structure. In this study, we unambiguously located the additional methyl group of the BDGT compound on the C3 carbon of the lipid backbone via high-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments. We further systematically explored the abundance, distribution and isotopic composition of BDGTs and PDGTs as both intact polar and core lipid forms in marine sediments collected in contrasting environments of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea. High proportions of intact polar BDGTs and PDGTs in the deeper methane-laden sedimentary layers and relatively 13C-depleted BDGTs, especially in the Rhone Delta and in the Black Sea, are in agreement with a probable methanogenic source for these lipids. However, contributions from heterotrophic Archaea to BDGTs (and PDGTs) cannot be excluded, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and contrasting BDGT and PDGT headgroup distribution patterns were observed between the different sites studied. This points to additional, non-methanogenic, archaeal sources for these lipids.

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    Copernicus Publications
    Other ORP type . 2020
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      Other ORP type . 2020
  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Helmond, Niels A. G. M.; Robertson, Elizabeth K.; Conley, Daniel J.; Hermans, Martijn; +4 Authors

    Coastal systems can act as filters for anthropogenic nutrient input into marine environments. Here, we assess the processes controlling the removal of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) for four sites in the eutrophic Stockholm Archipelago. Bottom water concentrations of oxygen and P are inversely correlated. This is attributed to the seasonal release of P from iron (Fe)-oxide-bound P in surface sediments and from degrading organic matter. The abundant presence of sulfide in the pore water, linked to prior deposition of organic-rich sediments in a low oxygen setting (legacy of hypoxia), hinders the formation of a larger Fe-oxide-bound P pool in winter. Burial rates of P are high at all sites (0.03–0.3 mol m−2 y−1), a combined result of high sedimentation rates (0.5 to 3.5 cm yr−1) and high sedimentary P at depth (~ 30 to 50 μmol g−1). Organic P accounts for 30–50 % of reactive P burial. Apart from one site in the inner archipelago, where a vivianite-type Fe(II)-P mineral is likely present at depth, there is little evidence for sink-switching of organic or Fe-oxide bound P to authigenic P minerals. Denitrification is the major benthic nitrate-reducing process at all sites (0.09 to 1.7 mmol m−2 d−1), efficiently removing N as N2. Denitrification rates decrease seaward following the decline in bottom water nitrate and sediment organic carbon. Our results explain how sediments in this eutrophic coastal system can efficiently remove land-derived P and N, regardless of whether the bottom waters are oxic or frequently hypoxic. Hence, management strategies involving artificial reoxygenation are not expected to be successful in removing P and N, emphasizing a need for a focus on nutrient load reductions.

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    Authors: Windirsch, Torben; Grosse, Guido; Ulrich, Mathias; Schirrmeister, Lutz; +6 Authors

    Permafrost ground is one of the largest repositories of stored terrestrial natural carbon and might become a carbon source with ongoing global warming. In particular, syngenetically frozen ice-rich Yedoma deposits originating from the late Pleistocene store a large amount of carbon. This carbon has not yet become part of the recent carbon cycle. With this study of Yedoma and associated Alas deposits in Central Yakutia we aim to understand the local sediment genesis and its effect on permafrost carbon storage. For this purpose, we investigated the Yukechi Alas area (61.76495° N, 130.46664° E), a thermokarst landscape degrading into Yedoma in Central Yakutia. Two sediment cores (Yedoma upland, 22.35 m depth, and Alas basin, 19.80 m depth) were drilled in 2015. We analyzed for ice content, total carbon and total nitrogen content, total organic carbon content, stable oxygen and hydrogen isotopes, stable carbon isotopes, mass specific magnetic susceptibility, grain size distribution, and radiocarbon ages. Samples taken from both cores were radiocarbon-dated up to 50,000 years before present. The laboratory analyses of both cores revealed very low carbon contents down to several meters depth. Those core parts holding very little to no detectable carbon consist of coarser sandy material estimated to an age between 39,000 and 18,000 years before present. For this period we assume sediment input of organic-poor material. Water isotope data derived from pore ice within the Yedoma core indicate a continuously cold state of the lower core parts, thereby ruling out a potential theory of Holocene influence. In consequence, we conclude that no strong organic matter decomposition took place in the sediments of the Yedoma core until today. In contrast, the Alas core from an adjacent thermokarst basin was strongly disturbed by lake development and permafrost thaw, and accordingly its sediment and carbon characteristics differed from those of the Yedoma core. The Alas core shows homogeneous ice content and the water isotope characteristics of a slightly more decomposed organic material; the findings of very carbon-poor core sections from the Yedoma core can be duplicated. The Yedoma deposition was likely influenced by fluvial regimes in nearby streams and the Lena River shifting with climate. The low carbon content and the clear stratigraphical layering of different sediment types suggest that the Yedoma deposits in the Yukechi area differ from other Yedoma sites regarding carbon stock and sedimentological composition. We conclude that sedimentary composition and deposition regimes of Yedoma may differ significantly within the Yedoma domain. The resulting heterogeneity should be taken into account for upscaling approaches on the Yedoma carbon stock. The Alas core gives clear insights into the future development of Cenral Yakutian Yedoma deposits.

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    Authors: Gustafsson, Erik; Hagens, Mathilde; Sun, Xiaole; Reed, Daniel C.; +3 Authors

    Enhanced release of alkalinity from the seafloor, principally driven by anaerobic degradation of organic matter under low-oxygen conditions and associated secondary redox reactions, can increase the carbon dioxide (CO2) buffering capacity of seawater and therefore oceanic CO2 uptake. The Baltic Sea has undergone severe changes in oxygenation state and total alkalinity (TA) over the past decades. The link between these concurrent changes has not yet been investigated in detail. A recent system-wide TA budget constructed for the past 50 years using BALTSEM, a coupled physical–biogeochemical model for the whole Baltic Sea area revealed an unknown TA source. Here we use BALTSEM in combination with observational data and one-dimensional reactive-transport modeling of sedimentary processes in the Fårö Deep, a deep Baltic Sea basin, to test whether sulfate (SO42-) reduction coupled to iron (Fe) sulfide burial can explain the missing TA source in the Baltic Proper. We calculated that this burial can account for up to 26 % of the missing source in this basin, with the remaining TA possibly originating from unknown river inputs or submarine groundwater discharge. We also show that temporal variability in the input of Fe to the sediments since the 1970s drives changes in sulfur (S) burial in the Fårö Deep, suggesting that Fe availability is the ultimate limiting factor for TA generation under anoxic conditions. The implementation of projected climate change and two nutrient load scenarios for the 21st century in BALTSEM shows that reducing nutrient loads will improve deep water oxygen conditions, but at the expense of lower surface water TA concentrations, CO2 buffering capacities and faster acidification. When these changes additionally lead to a decrease in Fe inputs to the sediment of the deep basins, anaerobic TA generation will be reduced even further, thus exacerbating acidification. This work highlights that Fe dynamics plays a key role in the release of TA from sediments where Fe sulfide formation is limited by Fe availability, as exemplified by the Baltic Sea. Moreover, it demonstrates that burial of Fe sulfides should be included in TA budgets of low-oxygen basins.

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    Copernicus Publications
    Other ORP type . 2019
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    Authors: Heinze, Christoph; Ilyina, Tatiana; Gehlen, Marion;

    Concentrations of dissolved 230Th in the ocean water column increase with depth due to scavenging and downward particle flux. Due to the 230Th scavenging process, any change in the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) fraction of the marine particle flux due to changes in biological CaCO3 hard-shell production as a consequence of progressing ocean acidification would be reflected in the dissolved 230Th activity. Our prognostic simulations with a biogeochemical ocean general circulation model using different scenarios for the reduction of CaCO3 production under ocean acidification and different greenhouse gas emission scenarios – the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 8.5 to 2.6 – reveal the potential for deep 230Th measurements to detect reduced CaCO3 production at the sea surface. The time of emergence of an acidification-induced signal on dissolved 230Th is of the same order of magnitude as for alkalinity measurements. Interannual and decadal variability in factors other than a reduction in CaCO3 hard-shell production may mask the ocean-acidification-induced signal in dissolved 230Th and make detection of the pure CaCO3-induced signal more difficult so that only really strong changes in marine CaCO3 export would be unambiguously identifiable soon. Nevertheless, the impacts of changes in CaCO3 export production on marine 230Th are stronger than those for changes in POC (particulate organic carbon) or clay fluxes.

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    Other ORP type . 2019
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      Other ORP type . 2019
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    Authors: Stolpmann, Lydia; Coch, Caroline; Morgenstern, Anne; Boike, Julia; +11 Authors

    Lakes in permafrost regions are dynamic landscape components and play an important role for climate change feedbacks. Lake processes such as mineralization and flocculation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), one of the main carbon fractions in lakes, contribute to the greenhouse effect and are part of the global carbon cycle. These processes are in the focus of climate research, but studies so far are limited to specific study regions. In our synthesis, we analyzed 2167 water samples from 1833 lakes across the Arctic in permafrost regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia to provide first pan-Arctic insights for linkages between DOC concentrations and the environment. Using published data and unpublished datasets from the author team, we report regional DOC differences linked to latitude, permafrost zones, ecoregions, geology, near-surface soil organic carbon contents, and ground ice classification of each lake region. The lake DOC concentrations in our dataset range from 0 to 1130 mg L−1 (10.8 mg L−1 median DOC concentration). Regarding the permafrost regions of our synthesis, we found median lake DOC concentrations of 12.4 mg L−1 (Siberia), 12.3 mg L−1 (Alaska), 10.3 mg L−1 (Greenland), and 4.5 mg L−1 (Canada). Our synthesis shows a significant relationship between lake DOC concentration and lake ecoregion. We found higher lake DOC concentrations at boreal permafrost sites compared to tundra sites. We found significantly higher DOC concentrations in lakes in regions with ice-rich syngenetic permafrost deposits (yedoma) compared to non-yedoma lakes and a weak but significant relationship between soil organic carbon content and lake DOC concentration as well as between ground ice content and lake DOC. Our pan-Arctic dataset shows that the DOC concentration of a lake depends on its environmental properties, especially on permafrost extent and ecoregion, as well as vegetation, which is the most important driver of lake DOC in this study. This new dataset will be fundamental to quantify a pan-Arctic lake DOC pool for estimations of the impact of lake DOC on the global carbon cycle and climate change.

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    Authors: Racapé, Virginie; Zunino, Patricia; Mercier, Herlé; Lherminier, Pascale; +3 Authors

    The North Atlantic Ocean is a major sink region for atmospheric CO2 and contributes to the storage of anthropogenic carbon (Cant). While there is general agreement that the intensity of the meridional overturning circulation (MOC) modulates uptake, transport and storage of Cant in the North Atlantic Subpolar Ocean, processes controlling their recent variability and evolution over the 21st century remain uncertain. This study investigates the relationship between transport, air–sea flux and storage rate of Cant in the North Atlantic Subpolar Ocean over the past 53 years. Its relies on the combined analysis of a multiannual in situ data set and outputs from a global biogeochemical ocean general circulation model (NEMO–PISCES) at 1∕2∘ spatial resolution forced by an atmospheric reanalysis. Despite an underestimation of Cant transport and an overestimation of anthropogenic air–sea CO2 flux in the model, the interannual variability of the regional Cant storage rate and its driving processes were well simulated by the model. Analysis of the multi-decadal simulation revealed that the MOC intensity variability was the major driver of the Cant transport variability at 25 and 36∘ N, but not at OVIDE. At the subpolar OVIDE section, the interannual variability of Cant transport was controlled by the accumulation of Cant in the MOC upper limb. At multi-decadal timescales, long-term changes in the North Atlantic storage rate of Cant were driven by the increase in air–sea fluxes of anthropogenic CO2. North Atlantic Central Water played a key role for storing Cant in the upper layer of the subtropical region and for supplying Cant to Intermediate Water and North Atlantic Deep Water. The transfer of Cant from surface to deep waters occurred mainly north of the OVIDE section. Most of the Cant transferred to the deep ocean was stored in the subpolar region, while the remainder was exported to the subtropical gyre within the lower MOC.

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    Copernicus Publications
    Other ORP type . 2019
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      Copernicus Publications
      Other ORP type . 2019
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    Authors: Rasse, Rafael; Claustre, Hervé; Poteau, Antoine;

    The shallower oxygen-poor water masses of the ocean confine a majority of the microbial communities that can produce up to 90 % of oceanic N2. This effective N2-yielding section encloses a suspended small-particle layer, inferred from particle backscattering (bbp) measurements. It is thus hypothesized that this layer (hereafter, the bbp-layer) is linked to microbial communities involved in N2 yielding such as nitrate-reducing SAR11 as well as sulfur-oxidizing, anammox, and denitrifying bacteria – a hypothesis yet to be evaluated. Here, data collected by three BGC-Argo floats deployed in the Black Sea are used to investigate the origin of this bbp-layer. To this end, we evaluate how the key drivers of N2-yielding bacteria dynamics impact the vertical distribution of bbp and the thickness of the bbp-layer. In conjunction with published data on N2 excess, our results suggest that the bbp-layer is at least partially composed of the bacteria driving N2 yielding for three main reasons: (1) strong correlations are recorded between bbp and nitrate; (2) the top location of the bbp-layer is driven by the ventilation of oxygen-rich subsurface waters, while its thickness is modulated by the amount of nitrate available to produce N2; and (3) the maxima of both bbp and N2 excess coincide at the same isopycnals where bacteria involved in N2 yielding coexist. We thus advance that bbp and O2 can be exploited as a combined proxy to delineate the N2-yielding section of the Black Sea. This proxy can potentially contribute to refining delineation of the effective N2-yielding section of oxygen-deficient zones via data from the growing BGC-Argo float network.

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    Authors: Stolpmann, Lydia; Coch, Caroline; Morgenstern, Anne; Boike, Julia; +11 Authors

    Lakes in permafrost regions are dynamic landscape components and play an important role for climate change feedbacks. Lake processes such as mineralization and flocculation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), one of the main carbon fractions in lakes, contribute to the greenhouse effect and are part of the global carbon cycle. These processes are in focus of climate research but studies so far are limited to specific study regions. In our synthesis, we analysed 2,167 water samples from 1,833 lakes across the Arctic in permafrost regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia to provide first pan-Arctic insights for linkages between DOC concentrations and the environment. Using published data and unpublished datasets from the author team we report regional DOC differences linked to latitude, permafrost zones, ecoregions, geology, near-surface soil organic carbon contents, and ground ice classification of each lake region. The lake DOC concentrations in our dataset range from 0 mg L−1 to 1,130 mg L−1 (10.8 mg L−1 median DOC concentration). Regarding the permafrost regions of our synthesis, we found median lake DOC concentrations of 12.4 mg L−1 (Siberia), 12.3 mg L−1 (Alaska), 10.3 mg L−1 (Greenland), and 4.5 mg L−1 (Canada). Our synthesis shows a significant relationship of lake DOC concentration and ecoregion of the lake. We found higher lake DOC concentrations in boreal permafrost sites compared to tundra sites. About 22 % of the lakes in our extensive dataset are located in regions with ice-rich syngenetic permafrost deposits (yedoma). Yedoma contains large amounts of easily erodible organic carbon and we found significantly higher DOC concentrations in yedoma lakes compared to non-yedoma lakes. Compared to previous studies we found a weak significant relationship of soil organic carbon content and lake DOC concentration as well as between ground-ice content and lake DOC. Our pan-Arctic dataset shows that the DOC concentration of a lake strongly depends on its environmental properties, especially on permafrost extent and ecoregion, as well as vegetation, which is the most important driver of lake DOC in this study. This new dataset will be fundamental to quantify a pan-Arctic lake DOC pool for estimations of the impact of lake DOC on the global carbon cycle and climate change.

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    Authors: Geerlings, Nicole M. J.; Zetsche, Eva-Maria; Hidalgo-Martinez, Silvia; Middelburg, Jack J.; +1 Authors

    Cable bacteria are multicellular, filamentous microorganisms that are capable of transporting electrons over centimeter-scale distances. Although recently discovered, these bacteria appear to be widely present in the seafloor, and when active they exert a strong imprint on the local geochemistry. In particular, their electrogenic metabolism induces unusually strong pH excursions in aquatic sediments, which induces considerable mineral dissolution, and subsequent mineral reprecipitation. However, at present, it is unknown whether and how cable bacteria play an active or direct role in the mineral reprecipitation process. To this end we present an explorative study of the formation of sedimentary minerals in and near filamentous cable bacteria using a combined approach of electron microscopy and spectroscopic techniques. Our observations reveal the formation of polyphosphate granules within the cells and two different types of biomineral formation directly associated with multicellular filaments of these cable bacteria: (i) the attachment and incorporation of clay particles in a coating surrounding the bacteria and (ii) encrustation of the cell envelope by iron minerals. These findings suggest a complex interaction between cable bacteria and the surrounding sediment matrix, and a substantial imprint of the electrogenic metabolism on mineral diagenesis and sedimentary biogeochemical cycling. In particular, the encrustation process leaves many open questions for further research. For example, we hypothesize that the complete encrustation of filaments might create a diffusion barrier and negatively impact the metabolism of the cable bacteria.

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    Copernicus Publications
    Other ORP type . 2019
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    Authors: Coffinet, Sarah; Meador, Travis B.; Mühlena, Lukas; Becker, Kevin W.; +6 Authors

    Butanetriol and pentanetriol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (BDGTs and PDGTs) are membrane lipids, recently discovered in sedimentary environments and in the methanogenic archaeon Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis. They possess an unusual structure, which challenges fundamental assumptions in lipid biochemistry. Indeed, they bear a butanetriol or a pentanetriol backbone instead of a glycerol at one end of their core structure. In this study, we unambiguously located the additional methyl group of the BDGT compound on the C3 carbon of the lipid backbone via high-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments. We further systematically explored the abundance, distribution and isotopic composition of BDGTs and PDGTs as both intact polar and core lipid forms in marine sediments collected in contrasting environments of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea. High proportions of intact polar BDGTs and PDGTs in the deeper methane-laden sedimentary layers and relatively 13C-depleted BDGTs, especially in the Rhone Delta and in the Black Sea, are in agreement with a probable methanogenic source for these lipids. However, contributions from heterotrophic Archaea to BDGTs (and PDGTs) cannot be excluded, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and contrasting BDGT and PDGT headgroup distribution patterns were observed between the different sites studied. This points to additional, non-methanogenic, archaeal sources for these lipids.

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    Authors: Helmond, Niels A. G. M.; Robertson, Elizabeth K.; Conley, Daniel J.; Hermans, Martijn; +4 Authors

    Coastal systems can act as filters for anthropogenic nutrient input into marine environments. Here, we assess the processes controlling the removal of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) for four sites in the eutrophic Stockholm Archipelago. Bottom water concentrations of oxygen and P are inversely correlated. This is attributed to the seasonal release of P from iron (Fe)-oxide-bound P in surface sediments and from degrading organic matter. The abundant presence of sulfide in the pore water, linked to prior deposition of organic-rich sediments in a low oxygen setting (legacy of hypoxia), hinders the formation of a larger Fe-oxide-bound P pool in winter. Burial rates of P are high at all sites (0.03–0.3 mol m−2 y−1), a combined result of high sedimentation rates (0.5 to 3.5 cm yr−1) and high sedimentary P at depth (~ 30 to 50 μmol g−1). Organic P accounts for 30–50 % of reactive P burial. Apart from one site in the inner archipelago, where a vivianite-type Fe(II)-P mineral is likely present at depth, there is little evidence for sink-switching of organic or Fe-oxide bound P to authigenic P minerals. Denitrification is the major benthic nitrate-reducing process at all sites (0.09 to 1.7 mmol m−2 d−1), efficiently removing N as N2. Denitrification rates decrease seaward following the decline in bottom water nitrate and sediment organic carbon. Our results explain how sediments in this eutrophic coastal system can efficiently remove land-derived P and N, regardless of whether the bottom waters are oxic or frequently hypoxic. Hence, management strategies involving artificial reoxygenation are not expected to be successful in removing P and N, emphasizing a need for a focus on nutrient load reductions.

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    Authors: Windirsch, Torben; Grosse, Guido; Ulrich, Mathias; Schirrmeister, Lutz; +6 Authors

    Permafrost ground is one of the largest repositories of stored terrestrial natural carbon and might become a carbon source with ongoing global warming. In particular, syngenetically frozen ice-rich Yedoma deposits originating from the late Pleistocene store a large amount of carbon. This carbon has not yet become part of the recent carbon cycle. With this study of Yedoma and associated Alas deposits in Central Yakutia we aim to understand the local sediment genesis and its effect on permafrost carbon storage. For this purpose, we investigated the Yukechi Alas area (61.76495° N, 130.46664° E), a thermokarst landscape degrading into Yedoma in Central Yakutia. Two sediment cores (Yedoma upland, 22.35 m depth, and Alas basin, 19.80 m depth) were drilled in 2015. We analyzed for ice content, total carbon and total nitrogen content, total organic carbon content, stable oxygen and hydrogen isotopes, stable carbon isotopes, mass specific magnetic susceptibility, grain size distribution, and radiocarbon ages. Samples taken from both cores were radiocarbon-dated up to 50,000 years before present. The laboratory analyses of both cores revealed very low carbon contents down to several meters depth. Those core parts holding very little to no detectable carbon consist of coarser sandy material estimated to an age between 39,000 and 18,000 years before present. For this period we assume sediment input of organic-poor material. Water isotope data derived from pore ice within the Yedoma core indicate a continuously cold state of the lower core parts, thereby ruling out a potential theory of Holocene influence. In consequence, we conclude that no strong organic matter decomposition took place in the sediments of the Yedoma core until today. In contrast, the Alas core from an adjacent thermokarst basin was strongly disturbed by lake development and permafrost thaw, and accordingly its sediment and carbon characteristics differed from those of the Yedoma core. The Alas core shows homogeneous ice content and the water isotope characteristics of a slightly more decomposed organic material; the findings of very carbon-poor core sections from the Yedoma core can be duplicated. The Yedoma deposition was likely influenced by fluvial regimes in nearby streams and the Lena River shifting with climate. The low carbon content and the clear stratigraphical layering of different sediment types suggest that the Yedoma deposits in the Yukechi area differ from other Yedoma sites regarding carbon stock and sedimentological composition. We conclude that sedimentary composition and deposition regimes of Yedoma may differ significantly within the Yedoma domain. The resulting heterogeneity should be taken into account for upscaling approaches on the Yedoma carbon stock. The Alas core gives clear insights into the future development of Cenral Yakutian Yedoma deposits.

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    Authors: Gustafsson, Erik; Hagens, Mathilde; Sun, Xiaole; Reed, Daniel C.; +3 Authors

    Enhanced release of alkalinity from the seafloor, principally driven by anaerobic degradation of organic matter under low-oxygen conditions and associated secondary redox reactions, can increase the carbon dioxide (CO2) buffering capacity of seawater and therefore oceanic CO2 uptake. The Baltic Sea has undergone severe changes in oxygenation state and total alkalinity (TA) over the past decades. The link between these concurrent changes has not yet been investigated in detail. A recent system-wide TA budget constructed for the past 50 years using BALTSEM, a coupled physical–biogeochemical model for the whole Baltic Sea area revealed an unknown TA source. Here we use BALTSEM in combination with observational data and one-dimensional reactive-transport modeling of sedimentary processes in the Fårö Deep, a deep Baltic Sea basin, to test whether sulfate (SO42-) reduction coupled to iron (Fe) sulfide burial can explain the missing TA source in the Baltic Proper. We calculated that this burial can account for up to 26 % of the missing source in this basin, with the remaining TA possibly originating from unknown river inputs or submarine groundwater discharge. We also show that temporal variability in the input of Fe to the sediments since the 1970s drives changes in sulfur (S) burial in the Fårö Deep, suggesting that Fe availability is the ultimate limiting factor for TA generation under anoxic conditions. The implementation of projected climate change and two nutrient load scenarios for the 21st century in BALTSEM shows that reducing nutrient loads will improve deep water oxygen conditions, but at the expense of lower surface water TA concentrations, CO2 buffering capacities and faster acidification. When these changes additionally lead to a decrease in Fe inputs to the sediment of the deep basins, anaerobic TA generation will be reduced even further, thus exacerbating acidification. This work highlights that Fe dynamics plays a key role in the release of TA from sediments where Fe sulfide formation is limited by Fe availability, as exemplified by the Baltic Sea. Moreover, it demonstrates that burial of Fe sulfides should be included in TA budgets of low-oxygen basins.

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    Authors: Heinze, Christoph; Ilyina, Tatiana; Gehlen, Marion;

    Concentrations of dissolved 230Th in the ocean water column increase with depth due to scavenging and downward particle flux. Due to the 230Th scavenging process, any change in the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) fraction of the marine particle flux due to changes in biological CaCO3 hard-shell production as a consequence of progressing ocean acidification would be reflected in the dissolved 230Th activity. Our prognostic simulations with a biogeochemical ocean general circulation model using different scenarios for the reduction of CaCO3 production under ocean acidification and different greenhouse gas emission scenarios – the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 8.5 to 2.6 – reveal the potential for deep 230Th measurements to detect reduced CaCO3 production at the sea surface. The time of emergence of an acidification-induced signal on dissolved 230Th is of the same order of magnitude as for alkalinity measurements. Interannual and decadal variability in factors other than a reduction in CaCO3 hard-shell production may mask the ocean-acidification-induced signal in dissolved 230Th and make detection of the pure CaCO3-induced signal more difficult so that only really strong changes in marine CaCO3 export would be unambiguously identifiable soon. Nevertheless, the impacts of changes in CaCO3 export production on marine 230Th are stronger than those for changes in POC (particulate organic carbon) or clay fluxes.

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    Authors: Stolpmann, Lydia; Coch, Caroline; Morgenstern, Anne; Boike, Julia; +11 Authors

    Lakes in permafrost regions are dynamic landscape components and play an important role for climate change feedbacks. Lake processes such as mineralization and flocculation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), one of the main carbon fractions in lakes, contribute to the greenhouse effect and are part of the global carbon cycle. These processes are in the focus of climate research, but studies so far are limited to specific study regions. In our synthesis, we analyzed 2167 water samples from 1833 lakes across the Arctic in permafrost regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia to provide first pan-Arctic insights for linkages between DOC concentrations and the environment. Using published data and unpublished datasets from the author team, we report regional DOC differences linked to latitude, permafrost zones, ecoregions, geology, near-surface soil organic carbon contents, and ground ice classification of each lake region. The lake DOC concentrations in our dataset range from 0 to 1130 mg L−1 (10.8 mg L−1 median DOC concentration). Regarding the permafrost regions of our synthesis, we found median lake DOC concentrations of 12.4 mg L−1 (Siberia), 12.3 mg L−1 (Alaska), 10.3 mg L−1 (Greenland), and 4.5 mg L−1 (Canada). Our synthesis shows a significant relationship between lake DOC concentration and lake ecoregion. We found higher lake DOC concentrations at boreal permafrost sites compared to tundra sites. We found significantly higher DOC concentrations in lakes in regions with ice-rich syngenetic permafrost deposits (yedoma) compared to non-yedoma lakes and a weak but significant relationship between soil organic carbon content and lake DOC concentration as well as between ground ice content and lake DOC. Our pan-Arctic dataset shows that the DOC concentration of a lake depends on its environmental properties, especially on permafrost extent and ecoregion, as well as vegetation, which is the most important driver of lake DOC in this study. This new dataset will be fundamental to quantify a pan-Arctic lake DOC pool for estimations of the impact of lake DOC on the global carbon cycle and climate change.

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    Authors: Racapé, Virginie; Zunino, Patricia; Mercier, Herlé; Lherminier, Pascale; +3 Authors

    The North Atlantic Ocean is a major sink region for atmospheric CO2 and contributes to the storage of anthropogenic carbon (Cant). While there is general agreement that the intensity of the meridional overturning circulation (MOC) modulates uptake, transport and storage of Cant in the North Atlantic Subpolar Ocean, processes controlling their recent variability and evolution over the 21st century remain uncertain. This study investigates the relationship between transport, air–sea flux and storage rate of Cant in the North Atlantic Subpolar Ocean over the past 53 years. Its relies on the combined analysis of a multiannual in situ data set and outputs from a global biogeochemical ocean general circulation model (NEMO–PISCES) at 1∕2∘ spatial resolution forced by an atmospheric reanalysis. Despite an underestimation of Cant transport and an overestimation of anthropogenic air–sea CO2 flux in the model, the interannual variability of the regional Cant storage rate and its driving processes were well simulated by the model. Analysis of the multi-decadal simulation revealed that the MOC intensity variability was the major driver of the Cant transport variability at 25 and 36∘ N, but not at OVIDE. At the subpolar OVIDE section, the interannual variability of Cant transport was controlled by the accumulation of Cant in the MOC upper limb. At multi-decadal timescales, long-term changes in the North Atlantic storage rate of Cant were driven by the increase in air–sea fluxes of anthropogenic CO2. North Atlantic Central Water played a key role for storing Cant in the upper layer of the subtropical region and for supplying Cant to Intermediate Water and North Atlantic Deep Water. The transfer of Cant from surface to deep waters occurred mainly north of the OVIDE section. Most of the Cant transferred to the deep ocean was stored in the subpolar region, while the remainder was exported to the subtropical gyre within the lower MOC.

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    Authors: Rasse, Rafael; Claustre, Hervé; Poteau, Antoine;

    The shallower oxygen-poor water masses of the ocean confine a majority of the microbial communities that can produce up to 90 % of oceanic N2. This effective N2-yielding section encloses a suspended small-particle layer, inferred from particle backscattering (bbp) measurements. It is thus hypothesized that this layer (hereafter, the bbp-layer) is linked to microbial communities involved in N2 yielding such as nitrate-reducing SAR11 as well as sulfur-oxidizing, anammox, and denitrifying bacteria – a hypothesis yet to be evaluated. Here, data collected by three BGC-Argo floats deployed in the Black Sea are used to investigate the origin of this bbp-layer. To this end, we evaluate how the key drivers of N2-yielding bacteria dynamics impact the vertical distribution of bbp and the thickness of the bbp-layer. In conjunction with published data on N2 excess, our results suggest that the bbp-layer is at least partially composed of the bacteria driving N2 yielding for three main reasons: (1) strong correlations are recorded between bbp and nitrate; (2) the top location of the bbp-layer is driven by the ventilation of oxygen-rich subsurface waters, while its thickness is modulated by the amount of nitrate available to produce N2; and (3) the maxima of both bbp and N2 excess coincide at the same isopycnals where bacteria involved in N2 yielding coexist. We thus advance that bbp and O2 can be exploited as a combined proxy to delineate the N2-yielding section of the Black Sea. This proxy can potentially contribute to refining delineation of the effective N2-yielding section of oxygen-deficient zones via data from the growing BGC-Argo float network.

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