Exo-enzymatic activities and organic matter properties in deep-sea canyon and slope systems off the southern Cretan margin

TitleExo-enzymatic activities and organic matter properties in deep-sea canyon and slope systems off the southern Cretan margin
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsPolymenakou, PN, Lampadariou N, Tselepides A
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
Volume55
Issue10
Pages1318 - 1329
KeywordsDeep-sea canyons, Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Enzymatic activities, Prokaryotic communities
Abstract

Enzymatic activities of aminopeptidase and β-d-glucosidase were investigated in sediments collected from deep-sea canyon (Samaria) and slope systems of the unexplored southern Cretan margin (Eastern Mediterranean Sea). Stations were grouped in defined regions, inside the canyon, in nearby slopes and in open slope systems. Redox potential values, organic carbon concentrations, C/N ratios, chlorophyll-a, phaeopigments, prokaryotic abundances and carbon (C) mineralization rates were also estimated. The main aim of this investigation was to examine the links among prokaryotic abundance and activities and organic matter parameters along the axis of a submarine canyon (Samaria), and laterally along the slopes of the deep southern Cretan margin (Eastern Mediterranean Sea). The recorded aminopeptidase activities exhibited elevated values near the mouth of the canyon and the nearby slope systems and were found to be comparable to those reported for mesotrophic ecosystems. Statistical comparisons revealed that chloroplastic pigment equivalents, C/N ratios and carbon mineralization rates did not differ significantly between the deep stations in and outside the canyon (of either 2000 or 3500 m water depth). On the other hand, organic carbon and nitrogen content, prokaryotic abundances, and enzymatic activities differ substantially between the canyon and slope stations. It is suggested that the deep basins at the outlet of the submarine canyon of Samaria and the nearby slope systems are promising targets for the identification of microbial hotspots. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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