Community composition of nitrous oxide consuming bacteria in the oxygen minimum zone of the Eastern Tropical South Pacific
"The ozone-depleting and greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2O), is mainly consumed by the microbially mediated anaerobic process, denitrification. N2O consumption is the last step in canonical denitrification, and is also the least O2 tolerant step. Community composition of total and active N2O consuming bacteria was analyzed based on total (DNA) and transcriptionally active (RNA) nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ) genes using a functional gene microarray. The total and active nosZ communities were dominated by a limited number of nosZ archetypes, affiliated with bacteria from marine, soil and marsh environments. [...]"
Source: Frontiers in Microbiology
Authors: Xin Sun, Amal Jayakumar and Bess B. Ward
Ammonium and nitrite oxidation at nanomolar oxygen concentrations in oxygen minimum zone waters
"A major percentage of fixed nitrogen (N) loss in the oceans occurs within nitrite-rich oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) via denitrification and anammox. It remains unclear to what extent ammonium and nitrite oxidation co-occur, either supplying or competing for substrates involved in nitrogen loss in the OMZ core. Assessment of the oxygen (O2) sensitivity of these processes down to the O2 concentrations present in the OMZ core (<10 nmol⋅L−1) is therefore essential for understanding and modeling nitrogen loss in OMZs. We determined rates of ammonium and nitrite oxidation in the seasonal OMZ off Concepcion, Chile at manipulated O2 levels between 5 nmol⋅L−1 and 20 μmol⋅L−1. [...]"
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Authors: Laura A. Bristow et al.
Oxygen minimum zone of the open Arabian Sea: variability of oxygen and nitrite from daily to decadal timescales
"The oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) of the Arabian Sea is the thickest of the three oceanic OMZ. It is of global biogeochemical significance because of denitrification in the upper part leading to N2 and N2O production. The residence time of OMZ water is believed to be less than a decade. The upper few hundred meters of this zone are nearly anoxic but non-sulfidic and still support animal (metazoan) pelagic life, possibly as a result of episodic injections of O2 by physical processes. [...]"
Authors: K. Banse, S. W. A. Naqvi, P. V. Narvekar, J. R. Postel, and D. A. Jayakumar
Fixed-Nitrogen Loss Associated with Sinking Zooplankton Carcasses in a Coastal Oxygen Minimum Zone (Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica)
"Oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) in the ocean are of key importance for pelagic fixed-nitrogen loss (N-loss) through microbial denitrification and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox). Recent studies document that zooplankton is surprisingly abundant in and around OMZs and that the microbial community associated with carcasses of a large copepod species mediates denitrification. Here, we investigate the complex N-cycling associated with sinking zooplankton carcasses exposed to the steep O2 gradient in a coastal OMZ (Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica). 15N-stable-isotope enrichment experiments revealed that the carcasses of abundant copepods and ostracods provide anoxic microbial hotspots in the pelagic zone by hosting intense anaerobic N-cycle activities even in the presence of ambient O2. [...]"
Source: Frontiers in Marine Science
Authors: Peter Stief et al.
Denitrifying community in coastal sediments performs aerobic and anaerobic respiration simultaneously
"Nitrogen (N) input to the coastal oceans has increased considerably because of anthropogenic activities, however, concurrent increases have not occurred in open oceans. It has been suggested that benthic denitrification in sandy coastal sediments is a sink for this N. Sandy sediments are dynamic permeable environments, where electron acceptor and donor concentrations fluctuate over short temporal and spatial scales. The response of denitrifiers to these fluctuations are largely unknown, although previous observations suggest they may denitrify under aerobic conditions. We examined the response of benthic denitrification to fluctuating oxygen concentrations, finding that denitrification not only occurred at high O2 concentrations but was stimulated by frequent switches between oxic and anoxic conditions. [...]"
Source: The ISME Journal
Authors: Hannah K Marchant et al.
The impact of ocean deoxygenation on iron release from continental margin sediments
"In the oceans’ high-nitrate–low-chlorophyll regions, such as the Peru/Humboldt Current system and the adjacent eastern equatorial Pacific, primary productivity is limited by the micronutrient iron. Within the Peruvian upwelling area, bioavailable iron is released from the reducing continental margin sediments. The magnitude of this seafloor source could change with fluctuations in the extension or intensity of the oxygen minimum zones. Here we show that measurements of molybdenum, uranium and iron concentrations can be used as a proxy for sedimentary iron release, and use this proxy to assess iron release from the sea floor beneath the Peru upwelling system during the past 140,000 years. [...]"
Source: Nature Geoscience 7
Authors: Florian Scholz et al.
Seasonal and short-term variation in denitrification and anammox at a coastal station on the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea
"Benthic processes were measured at a coastal deposition area in the northern Baltic Sea, covering all seasons. The N2 production rates, 90–400μmol Nm−2d−1, were highest in autumn-early winter and lowest in spring. Heterotrophic bacterial production peaked unexpectedly late in the year, indicating that in addition to the temperature, the availability of carbon compounds suitable for the heterotrophic bacteria also plays a major role in regulating the denitrification rate. Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) was measured in spring and autumn and contributed 10% and 15%, respectively, to the total N2 production. [...]"
Source: Hydrobiologia 596
Authors: Susanna Hietanen & Jorma Kuparinen
Upwelling intensity modulates nitrous oxide concentrations over the western Indian shelf
"Repeat measurements of dissolved nitrous oxide (N2O) along two transects of the western continental shelf of India in 2012 revealed high concentrations of 45 ± 32 nM (off Kochi) and 73 ± 63 nM (off Mangalore) during the summer monsoon (SM). N2O concentrations increased nonlinearly during the peak of the SM upwelling, when low O2 (<25 µM) conditions prevailed in the water column. Off Kochi, N2O levels fell gradually from the fall intermonsoon (20 ± 8 nM) to the winter monsoon (8.8 ± 2 nM) and remained low (9.2 ± 5.2 nM) through the spring intermonsoon season. The N2O supersaturation off Kochi (574 ± 720%) was presumably due to its high yield during sediment denitrification, whereas the higher N2O supersaturation observed off Mangalore (1046 ± 885%) was due to its production during denitrification in both the anoxic water column and the underlying sediments. Such distinctive biogeochemical behavior between these two shelf segments is at first augmented by the natural origin of intense upwelling at Mangalore relative to Kochi wherein suboxic to anoxic oxygen minimum zone waters spread from offshore to the shelf of Mangalore, over which the runoff and terrestrial nutrients supply acts in unison.[...]"
First evidence of denitrification vis-à-vis monsoon in the Arabian Sea since Late Miocene
"In the Arabian Sea, South Asian monsoon (SAM)-induced high surface water productivity coupled with poor ventilation of intermediate water results in strong denitrification within the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). Despite the significance of denitrification in the Arabian Sea, we have no long-term record of its evolution spanning the past several million years. Here, we present the first record of denitrification evolution since Late Miocene (~10.2 Ma) in the Eastern Arabian Sea, where the SAM generates moderate surface water productivity, based on the samples retrieved during the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 355. [...]"
N2 production rates limited by nitrite availability in the Bay of Bengal oxygen minimum zone
A third or more of the fixed nitrogen lost from the oceans as N2 is removed by anaerobic microbial processes in open ocean oxygen minimum zones. These zones have expanded over the past decades, and further anthropogenically induced expansion could accelerate nitrogen loss. However, in the Bay of Bengal there has been no indication of nitrogen loss, although oxygen levels are below the detection level of conventional methods (1 to 2 μM). Here we quantify the abundance of microbial genes associated with N2 production, measure nitrogen transformations in incubations of sampled seawater with isotopically labelled nitrogen compounds and analyse geochemical signatures of these processes in the water column. We find that the Bay of Bengal supports denitrifier and anammox microbial populations, mediating low, but significant N loss. Yet, unlike other oxygen minimum zones, our measurements using a highly sensitive oxygen sensor demonstrate that the Bay of Bengal has persistent concentrations of oxygen in the 10 to 200 nM range. We propose that this oxygen supports nitrite oxidation, thereby restricting the nitrite available for anammox or denitrification. If these traces of oxygen were removed, nitrogen loss in the Bay of Bengal oxygen minimum zone waters could accelerate to global significance.