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Presence of oxygen and aerobic communities from sea floor to basement in deep-sea sediments

Presence of oxygen and aerobic communities from sea floor to basement in deep-sea sediments
Presence of oxygen and aerobic communities from sea floor to basement in deep-sea sediments
The depth of oxygen penetration into marine sediments differs considerably from one region to another1, 2. In areas with high rates of microbial respiration, O2 penetrates only millimetres to centimetres into the sediments3, but active anaerobic microbial communities are present in sediments hundreds of metres or more below the sea floor4, 5, 6, 7. In areas with low sedimentary respiration, O2 penetrates much deeper8, 9, 10, 11, 12 but the depth to which microbial communities persist was previously unknown9, 10, 13. The sediments underlying the South Pacific Gyre exhibit extremely low areal rates of respiration9. Here we show that, in this region, microbial cells and aerobic respiration persist through the entire sediment sequence to depths of at least 75 metres below sea floor. Based on the Redfield stoichiometry of dissolved O2 and nitrate, we suggest that net aerobic respiration in these sediments is coupled to oxidation of marine organic matter. We identify a relationship of O2 penetration depth to sedimentation rate and sediment thickness. Extrapolating this relationship, we suggest that oxygen and aerobic communities may occur throughout the entire sediment sequence in 15–44% of the Pacific and 9–37% of the global sea floor. Subduction of the sediment and basalt from these regions is a source of oxidized material to the mantle.
1752-0894
299-304
D’Hondt, Steven
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Inagaki, Fumio
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Zarikian, Carlos Alvarez
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Abrams, Lewis J.
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Dubois, Nathalie
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Engelhardt, Tim
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Evans, Helen
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Ferdelman, Timothy
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Gribsholt, Britta
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Harris, Robert N.
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Hoppie, Bryce W.
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Hyun, Jung-Ho
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Kallmeyer, Jens
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Kim, Jinwook
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Lynch, Jill E.
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McKinley, Claire C.
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Mitsunobu, Satoshi
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Morono, Yuki
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Murray, Richard W.
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Pockalny, Robert
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Sauvage, Justine
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Shimono, Takaya
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Shiraishi, Fumito
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Smith, David C.
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Smith-Duque, Christopher E.
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Spivack, Arthur J.
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Steinsbu, Bjorn Olav
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Suzuki, Yohey
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Szpak, Michal
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Toffin, Laurent
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Uramoto, Goichiro
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Yamaguchi, Yasuhiko T.
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Zhang, Guo-liang
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Zhang, Xiao-Hua
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Ziebis, Wiebke
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D’Hondt, Steven
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Inagaki, Fumio
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Zarikian, Carlos Alvarez
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Abrams, Lewis J.
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Dubois, Nathalie
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Engelhardt, Tim
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Evans, Helen
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Ferdelman, Timothy
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Gribsholt, Britta
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Harris, Robert N.
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Hoppie, Bryce W.
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Hyun, Jung-Ho
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Kallmeyer, Jens
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Kim, Jinwook
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Lynch, Jill E.
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McKinley, Claire C.
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Mitsunobu, Satoshi
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Morono, Yuki
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Murray, Richard W.
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Pockalny, Robert
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Sauvage, Justine
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Shimono, Takaya
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Shiraishi, Fumito
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Smith, David C.
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Smith-Duque, Christopher E.
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Spivack, Arthur J.
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Steinsbu, Bjorn Olav
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Suzuki, Yohey
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Szpak, Michal
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Toffin, Laurent
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Uramoto, Goichiro
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Yamaguchi, Yasuhiko T.
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Zhang, Guo-liang
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Zhang, Xiao-Hua
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Ziebis, Wiebke
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D’Hondt, Steven, Inagaki, Fumio, Zarikian, Carlos Alvarez, Abrams, Lewis J., Dubois, Nathalie, Engelhardt, Tim, Evans, Helen, Ferdelman, Timothy, Gribsholt, Britta, Harris, Robert N., Hoppie, Bryce W., Hyun, Jung-Ho, Kallmeyer, Jens, Kim, Jinwook, Lynch, Jill E., McKinley, Claire C., Mitsunobu, Satoshi, Morono, Yuki, Murray, Richard W., Pockalny, Robert, Sauvage, Justine, Shimono, Takaya, Shiraishi, Fumito, Smith, David C., Smith-Duque, Christopher E., Spivack, Arthur J., Steinsbu, Bjorn Olav, Suzuki, Yohey, Szpak, Michal, Toffin, Laurent, Uramoto, Goichiro, Yamaguchi, Yasuhiko T., Zhang, Guo-liang, Zhang, Xiao-Hua and Ziebis, Wiebke (2015) Presence of oxygen and aerobic communities from sea floor to basement in deep-sea sediments. Nature Geoscience, 8 (4), 299-304. (doi:10.1038/ngeo2387).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The depth of oxygen penetration into marine sediments differs considerably from one region to another1, 2. In areas with high rates of microbial respiration, O2 penetrates only millimetres to centimetres into the sediments3, but active anaerobic microbial communities are present in sediments hundreds of metres or more below the sea floor4, 5, 6, 7. In areas with low sedimentary respiration, O2 penetrates much deeper8, 9, 10, 11, 12 but the depth to which microbial communities persist was previously unknown9, 10, 13. The sediments underlying the South Pacific Gyre exhibit extremely low areal rates of respiration9. Here we show that, in this region, microbial cells and aerobic respiration persist through the entire sediment sequence to depths of at least 75 metres below sea floor. Based on the Redfield stoichiometry of dissolved O2 and nitrate, we suggest that net aerobic respiration in these sediments is coupled to oxidation of marine organic matter. We identify a relationship of O2 penetration depth to sedimentation rate and sediment thickness. Extrapolating this relationship, we suggest that oxygen and aerobic communities may occur throughout the entire sediment sequence in 15–44% of the Pacific and 9–37% of the global sea floor. Subduction of the sediment and basalt from these regions is a source of oxidized material to the mantle.

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Published date: March 2015
Organisations: Geochemistry

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Local EPrints ID: 376886
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/376886
ISSN: 1752-0894
PURE UUID: 27c31ca0-292f-4d4b-a876-bb602ed00cb1

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Date deposited: 07 May 2015 16:10
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 21:21

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Contributors

Author: Steven D’Hondt
Author: Fumio Inagaki
Author: Carlos Alvarez Zarikian
Author: Lewis J. Abrams
Author: Nathalie Dubois
Author: Tim Engelhardt
Author: Helen Evans
Author: Timothy Ferdelman
Author: Britta Gribsholt
Author: Robert N. Harris
Author: Bryce W. Hoppie
Author: Jung-Ho Hyun
Author: Jens Kallmeyer
Author: Jinwook Kim
Author: Jill E. Lynch
Author: Claire C. McKinley
Author: Satoshi Mitsunobu
Author: Yuki Morono
Author: Richard W. Murray
Author: Robert Pockalny
Author: Justine Sauvage
Author: Takaya Shimono
Author: Fumito Shiraishi
Author: David C. Smith
Author: Christopher E. Smith-Duque
Author: Arthur J. Spivack
Author: Bjorn Olav Steinsbu
Author: Yohey Suzuki
Author: Michal Szpak
Author: Laurent Toffin
Author: Goichiro Uramoto
Author: Yasuhiko T. Yamaguchi
Author: Guo-liang Zhang
Author: Xiao-Hua Zhang
Author: Wiebke Ziebis

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