Oceanic Dimethylsulfide: Production During Zooplankton Grazing on Phytoplankton

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Science  19 Sep 1986:
Vol. 233, Issue 4770, pp. 1314-1316
DOI: 10.1126/science.233.4770.1314


About half the biogenic sulfur flux to the earth's atmosphere each year arises from the oceans. Dimethylsulfide (DMS), which constitutes about 90% of this marine sulfur flux, is presumed to originate from the decomposition of dimethylsulfoniopropionate produced by marine organisms, particularly phytoplankton. The rate of DMS release by phytoplankton is greatly increased when the phytoplankton are subjected to grazing by zooplankton. DMS production associated with such grazing may be the major mechanism of DMS production in many marine settings.

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