Characterizing the surface microlayer in the Mediterranean Sea: trace metal concentrations and microbial plankton abundance

Type Article
Date 2020
Language English
Author(s) Tovar-Sanchez Antonio1, Rodriguez-Romero Araceli1, Engel Anja2, Zancker Birthe2, Fu Franck3, Maranon Emilio4, Perez-Lorenzo Maria4, Bressac Matthieu5, 6, Wagener Thibault7, Desboeufs Karine3, Triquet Sylvain3, Siour Guillaume3, Guieu Cécile7
Affiliation(s) 1 : Department of Ecology and Coastal Management, Institute of Marine Sciences of Andalusia (ICMAN-CSIC), Puerto Real, 07190, Spain
2 : Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR), Kiel, Germany
3 : Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (LISA), CNRS UMR 7583, Université de Paris, Université Paris-Est-Créteil, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), Créteil, 94000, France
4 : Departamento de Ecología y Biología Animal, Universidad de Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
5 : Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
6 : Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche, LOV, F-06230, Villefranche-sur-mer, France
7 : Aix Marseille Univ., CNRS, IRD, Universitéde Toulon, MIO UM 110, 13288, Marseille, France
Source Biogeosciences (1726-4189) (Copernicus GmbH), 2020 , Vol. 17 , N. 8 , P. 2349–2364
DOI 10.5194/bg-2019-290
Note Special issue | Atmospheric deposition in the low-nutrient-low-chlorophyll (LNLC) ocean: effects on marine life today and in the future (BG/ACP inter-journal SI) Editor(s): Christine Klaas, Cecile Guieu, Karine Desboeufs, Jan-Berend Stuut, Mark Moore, Paraskevi Pitta, Silvia Becagli, and Chiara Santinelli Special issue jointly organized between Biogeosciences and Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

The Sea Surface Microlayer (SML) is known to be enriched in trace metals relative to the underlaying water and to harbor diverse microbial communities (i.e. neuston). However, the processes linking metals and biota in the SML are not yet fully understood. In this study, we analyzed the metal (Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Ni, Mo, V, Zn and Pb) concentrations in aerosol samples, SML (dissolved and total fractions) and in subsurface waters (SSW; dissolved fraction at ~ 1 m depth) from the Western Mediterranean Sea during a cruise in May–June 2017. The bacterial community composition and abundance in the SML and SSW, and the primary production and Chl-a in the SSW were measured simultaneously at all stations during the cruise. Residence times of particulate metals derived from aerosols deposition ranged from a couple of minutes for Co (2.7 ± 0.9 min; more affected by wind conditions) to a few hours for Cu (3.0 ± 1.9 h). Concentration of most dissolved metals in both, the SML and SSW, were well correlated with the salinity gradient and showed the characteristic eastward increase in surface waters of the Mediterranean Sea (MS). Contrarily, the total fraction of some reactive metals in the SML (i.e. Cu, Fe, Pb and Zn) showed negative trends with salinity, these trends of concentrations seem to be associate to microbial uptake. Our results suggest a toxic effect of Ni on neuston and microbiology community’s abundance of the top meter of the surface waters of the Western Mediterranean Sea.

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Tovar-Sanchez Antonio, Rodriguez-Romero Araceli, Engel Anja, Zancker Birthe, Fu Franck, Maranon Emilio, Perez-Lorenzo Maria, Bressac Matthieu, Wagener Thibault, Desboeufs Karine, Triquet Sylvain, Siour Guillaume, Guieu Cécile (2020). Characterizing the surface microlayer in the Mediterranean Sea: trace metal concentrations and microbial plankton abundance. Biogeosciences, 17(8), 2349–2364. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :