Volume 39 Issue 12
Jan.  2021
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Chunyan Ren, Min Chen, Laodong Guo, Jian Zeng, Renming Jia, Xiao Liu, Minfang Zheng, Yusheng Qiu. Nitrogen isotopic fractionation of particulate organic matter production and remineralization in the Prydz Bay and its adjacent areas[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2020, 39(12): 42-53. doi: 10.1007/s13131-020-1698-6
Citation: Chunyan Ren, Min Chen, Laodong Guo, Jian Zeng, Renming Jia, Xiao Liu, Minfang Zheng, Yusheng Qiu. Nitrogen isotopic fractionation of particulate organic matter production and remineralization in the Prydz Bay and its adjacent areas[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2020, 39(12): 42-53. doi: 10.1007/s13131-020-1698-6

Nitrogen isotopic fractionation of particulate organic matter production and remineralization in the Prydz Bay and its adjacent areas

doi: 10.1007/s13131-020-1698-6
Funds:  The National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 41721005; the COMRA Program of China under contract No. DY135-E2-2-03; the Polar Environment Comprehensive Investigation & Assessment Program of China under contract Nos CHINARE2017-01-04-03 and CHINARE2017-04-01-06.
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: mchen@xmu.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 2019-10-21
  • Accepted Date: 2020-01-08
  • Available Online: 2021-04-21
  • Publish Date: 2020-12-25
  • During the 29th Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition, spatial variations in nitrogen isotopic composition of particulate nitrogen (δ15NPN) and their controlling factors were examined in detail with regard to nitrate drawdown by phytoplankton and particulate nitrogen (PN) remineralization in the Prydz Bay and its adjacent areas. To better constrain the nitrogen transformations, the physical and chemical parameters, including temperature, salinity, nutrients, PN and δ15NPN in seawater column were measured from surface to bottom. In addition, the nitrogen isotopic fractionation factor of nitrate assimilation by phytoplankton in the mixed layer, and the nitrogen isotopic fractionation factor of PN remineralization below the mixed layer were estimated using Rayleigh model and Steady State model, respectively. Our results showed that suspended particles had its lowest δ15NPN in the surface layer, which was due to the preferential assimilation of 14N in nitrate by phytoplankton. The δ15NPN in the mixed layer of the Prydz Bay and its adjacent areas decreased from the inner shelf to the outer basin, ascribing to the effect of isotope fractionation during phytoplankton assimilation. In mixed layer, the spatial distribution of δ15NPN associated with particulate organic matter (POM) production can be well interpreted according to Rayleigh model and Steady State model. The nitrogen isotope fractionation factor during phytoplankton assimilating nitrate was estimated as 10.0‰ by Steady State model, which was more reasonable than that calculated by Rayleigh model. These results validate the previous reports of fractionation factor during nitrate assimilation by phytoplankton. Increasing δ15NPN with depth below the euphotic zone correlated with the decreasing PN contents, and it was attributed to preferential remineralization of 14N in PN by bacteria. In subsurface and deep layer, the δ15NPN distributions also conformed to Rayleigh model and Steady State model during PN remineralization, with a fractionation factor of about 3.6‰ and 3.2‰, respectively. It is the first time to estimate the fractionation factor during POM production and remineralization in the Prydz Bay and its adjacent areas. Such fractionation may provide a useful tool for the follow-up study of the nitrogen dynamics in the Southern Ocean.
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