Report

Regulation of Oceanic Silicon and Carbon Preservation by Temperature Control on Bacteria

Science  06 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5600, pp. 1980-1984
DOI: 10.1126/science.1076076

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Abstract

We demonstrated in laboratory experiments that temperature control of marine bacteria action on diatoms strongly influences the coupling of biogenic silica and organic carbon preservation. Low temperature intensified the selective regeneration of organic matter by marine bacteria as the silicon:carbon preservation ratio gradually increased from ∼1 at 33°C to ∼6 at –1.8°C. Temperature control of bacteria-mediated selective preservation of silicon versus carbon should help to interpret and model the variable coupling of silicon and carbon sinking fluxes and the spatial patterns of opal accumulation in oceanic systems with different temperature regimes.

  • * Present address: Institute of Marine and Coastal Science, Rutgers University, 71 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901–8521, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: bidle{at}imcs.rutgers.edu

  • Present address: ISPESL–DIPIA, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention, via Fontana Candida, 1, 00040 Monteporzio Catone (RM), Italy.

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