Freshwater estimates of prokaryotic respiration in tropical Central America
In aquatic fresh ecosystems, prokaryotes are responsible for the bulk of the aerobic respiration. They generate most of the CO2 from freshwater, yet rarely are their rates of respiration estimated in situ. Here, direct measurements were made of the rate at which freshwater bacteria and Archaea used dissolved oxygen in the tropical waters of the Panama Canal, Central America. Respiration rates were estimated from measurements of oxygen uptake rates in a dark chamber attached to a sonde in situ in bays, coves and the Panama Canal around Barro Colorado Island. The rate that oxygen was taken up was then converted to the rate carbon dioxide was respired; rates ranged from 1 to 20 g C m-3 d-1. Results showed aquatic bacterial respiration in these tropical freshwaters can return large amounts of dissolved organic carbon to the atmosphere as CO2. Hence CO2 outgassing from these tropical freshwaters respiration should be considered as a significant source of carbon to the atmospheric global carbon budget.
Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management
Ecological Impacts of Climate Change