Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/bg-2016-558
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
09 Jan 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).
Seagrass as major source of transparent exopolymer particles in the oligotrophic Mediterranean coast
Francesca Iuculano1, Carlos M. Duarte2, Núria Marbà1, and Susana Augustí2 1Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados (IMEDEA), CSIC-UIB, Esporles, 07190, Balearic Islands, Spain
2King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Red Sea Research Center (RSRC), Thuwal, 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
Abstract. The role of seagrass, Posidonia oceanica, meadows as a source of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) to Mediterranean coastal waters was tested by comparing the TEP dynamics in two adjacent coastal waters in the oligotrophic NW Mediterranean Sea, one characterized by oligotrophic open-sea waters and the other accumulating seagrass leaf litter, together with an experimental examination of TEP release by seagrass litter. TEP concentrations ranged from 4.6 µg XG Eq L−1 to 90.6 µg XG Eq L−1, with mean (±SE) values of 38.7 (±2.02) µg XG Eq L−1 in the site devoid of seagrass litter, whereas the coastal beach site accumulating leaf litter had > 10-fold mean TEP concentrations of 487.02 (±72.8) µg XG Eq L−1 . Experimental evaluation confirmed high rates of TEP production by P. oceanica litter, allowing calculations of the associated TEP yield. We demonstrated that P. oceanica is an important source of TEP to the Mediterranean Sea, contributing an estimated 0.10 Tg C as TEP annually. TEP release by P. oceanica seagrass explains the elevated TEP concentration relative to the low chlorophyll a concentration in the Mediterranean Sea.

Citation: Iuculano, F., Duarte, C. M., Marbà, N., and Augustí, S.: Seagrass as major source of transparent exopolymer particles in the oligotrophic Mediterranean coast, Biogeosciences Discuss., doi:10.5194/bg-2016-558, in review, 2017.
Francesca Iuculano et al.
Francesca Iuculano et al.
Francesca Iuculano et al.

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