Karl David M.

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David M.

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  • Preprint
    Particle export from the upper ocean over the continental shelf of the west Antarctic Peninsula: A long-term record, 1992–2007
    ( 2008-03) Ducklow, Hugh W. ; Erickson, Matthew ; Kelly, Joann ; Montes-Hugo, Martin ; Ribic, Christine A. ; Smith, Raymond C. ; Stammerjohn, Sharon E. ; Karl, David M.
    We report on results of a long-term (1993-2007) time series sediment trap moored at 170 m to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula in the mid-continental shelf region (350 m depth; 64º30’ S, 66º00’ W). This is a region characterized by late spring-summer diatom blooms, moderately high seasonal primary productivity (50-150 mmol C m-2 d-1 in December-February) and high phytoplankton and krill biomass in the seasonal sea ice zone. The mass flux ranged from near 0 to over 1 g m-2 d-1 and was near 0 to >30% organic carbon (mean 8%). Sedimentation from the upper ocean as estimated by the trap collections at 170 m exhibited strong seasonality with high fluxes (1-10 mmol C m-2 d-1) in November-March following ice retreat and very low fluxes (<0.001 mmol C m-2 d-1) during the Austral winter and under sea ice cover. An average of 85% of the annual export of 212 mmol C m-2 occurred during the seasonal peak flux episodes. Over the trap record, the annual peak flux episode has tended to occur later in the Austral summer, advancing by about 40 days since 1993. The time-integrated sedimentation during the peak flux episode was <1 – 50% of the SeaWiFS-estimated primary production (mean 4%) at the trap site over the period 1998-2006. The elemental composition of material captured in the traps had an average C:N:P of 212:28:1, greater than the canonical Redfield values. High C:P ratios (400- 600) corresponded with the annual flux peak, indicating preferential loss of P from the sinking particles in the summer, ice-free period. The composition of the exported material more closely approximated the Redfield composition during the low-flux, winter period.
  • Preprint
    Will ocean acidification affect marine microbes?
    ( 2010-05) Joint, Ian ; Doney, Scott C. ; Karl, David M.
    The pH of the surface ocean is changing as a result of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and there are concerns about potential impacts of lower pH and associated alterations in seawater carbonate chemistry on the biogeochemical processes in the ocean. However, it is important to place these changes within the context of pH in the present day ocean, which is not constant; it varies systematically with season, depth and along productivity gradients. Yet this natural variability in pH has rarely been considered in assessments of the effect of ocean acidification on marine microbes. Surface pH can change as a consequence of microbial utilisation and production of carbon dioxide, and to a lesser extent other microbiallymediated processes such as nitrification. Useful comparisons can be made with microbes in other aquatic environments that readily accommodate very large and rapid pH change. For example, in many freshwater lakes, pH changes that are orders of magnitude greater than those projected for the 22nd century oceans can occur over periods of hours. Marine and freshwater assemblages have always experienced variable pH conditions. Therefore, an appropriate null hypothesis may be, until evidence is obtained to the contrary, that major biogeochemical processes in the oceans other than calcification will not be fundamentally different under future higher CO2 / lower pH conditions.
  • Preprint
    VERTIGO (VERtical Transport In the Global Ocean) : a study of particle sources and flux attenuation in the North Pacific
    ( 2008-03-21) Buesseler, Ken O. ; Trull, Thomas W. ; Steinberg, Deborah K. ; Silver, Mary W. ; Siegel, David A. ; Saitoh, S.-I. ; Lamborg, Carl H. ; Lam, Phoebe J. ; Karl, David M. ; Jiao, N. Z. ; Honda, Makio C. ; Elskens, Marc ; Dehairs, Frank ; Brown, S. I. ; Boyd, Philip W. ; Bishop, James K. B. ; Bidigare, Robert R.
    The VERtical Transport In the Global Ocean (VERTIGO) study examined particle sources and fluxes through the ocean’s “twilight zone” (defined here as depths below the euphotic zone to 1000 m). Interdisciplinary process studies were conducted at contrasting sites off Hawaii (ALOHA) and in the NW Pacific (K2) during 3 week occupations in 2004 and 2005, respectively. We examine in this overview paper the contrasting physical, chemical and biological settings and how these conditions impact the source characteristics of the sinking material and the transport efficiency through the twilight zone. A major finding in VERTIGO is the considerably lower transfer efficiency (Teff) of particulate organic carbon (POC), POC flux 500 / 150 m, at ALOHA (20%) vs. K2 (50%). This efficiency is higher in the diatom-dominated setting at K2 where silica-rich particles dominate the flux at the end of a diatom bloom, and where zooplankton and their pellets are larger. At K2, the drawdown of macronutrients is used to assess export and suggests that shallow remineralization above our 150 m trap is significant, especially for N relative to Si. We explore here also surface export ratios (POC flux/primary production) and possible reasons why this ratio is higher at K2, especially during the first trap deployment. When we compare the 500 m fluxes to deep moored traps, both sites lose about half of the sinking POC by >4000 m, but this comparison is limited in that fluxes at depth may have both a local and distant component. Certainly, the greatest difference in particle flux attenuation is in the mesopelagic, and we highlight other VERTIGO papers that provide a more detailed examination of the particle sources, flux and processes that attenuate the flux of sinking particles. Ultimately, we contend that at least three types of processes need to be considered: heterotrophic degradation of sinking particles, zooplankton migration and surface feeding, and lateral sources of suspended and sinking materials. We have evidence that all of these processes impacted the net attenuation of particle flux vs. depth measured in VERTIGO and would therefore need to be considered and quantified in order to understand the magnitude and efficiency of the ocean’s biological pump.
  • Preprint
    Distinct dissolved organic matter sources induce rapid transcriptional responses in coexisting populations of Prochlorococcus, Pelagibacter and the OM60 clade
    ( 2013-07) Sharma, Adrian K. ; Becker, Jamie W. ; Ottesen, Elizabeth A. ; Bryant, Jessica A. ; Duhamel, Solange ; Karl, David M. ; Cordero, Otto X. ; Repeta, Daniel J. ; DeLong, Edward F.
    A considerable fraction of the Earth's organic carbon exists in dissolved form in seawater. To investigate the roles of planktonic marine microbes in the biogeochemical cycling of this dissolved organic matter (DOM), we performed controlled seawater incubation experiments and followed the responses of an oligotrophic surface water microbial assemblage to perturbations with DOM derived from an axenic culture of Prochlorococcus, or high-molecular weight DOM concentrated from nearby surface waters. The rapid transcriptional responses of both Prochlorococcus and Pelagibacter populations suggested the utilization of organic nitrogen compounds common to both DOM treatments. Along with these responses, both populations demonstrated decreases in gene transcripts associated with nitrogen stress, including those involved in ammonium acquisition. In contrast, responses from low abundance organisms of the NOR5/OM60 gammaproteobacteria were observed later in the experiment, and included elevated levels of gene transcripts associated with polysaccharide uptake and oxidation. In total, these results suggest that numerically dominant oligotrophic microbes rapidly acquire nitrogen from commonly available organic sources, and also point to an important role for carbohydrates found within the DOM pool for sustaining the less abundant microorganisms in these oligotrophic systems.