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See detailDecadal changes of carbon dioxide in the Southern North Sea
Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Delille, Bruno ULg; Borges, Alberto ULg

Poster (2010, April 26)

Since late 2000, we have acquired partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) data underway with an equilibrator coupled to an infra-red gas analyser on all the cruises carried out on RV Belgica. Here, we discuss the ... [more ▼]

Since late 2000, we have acquired partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) data underway with an equilibrator coupled to an infra-red gas analyser on all the cruises carried out on RV Belgica. Here, we discuss the decadal changes of pCO2 during winter-time in the Southern North Sea. The trends are faster than those reported in open oceanic waters, although strongly modulated by inter-annual variability that seems to be related to the North Atlantic Oscillation. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimating pCO2 from remote sensing in the Belgian coastal zone
Borges, Alberto; Ruddick, Kevin; Lacroix, Geneviève et al

in ESA Special Publication SP-686 (2010)

In coastal waters, a purely field observation based approach will probably be insufficient to better constrain estimates of air-sea CO2 fluxes, to study their inter-annual variability and their long-term ... [more ▼]

In coastal waters, a purely field observation based approach will probably be insufficient to better constrain estimates of air-sea CO2 fluxes, to study their inter-annual variability and their long-term changes. One approach to achieve these goals is to use remotely sensed fields of relevant biogeochemical variables to extrapolate available data, and produce maps of the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and air-sea CO2 fluxes. In the open ocean this approach has to some extent been successfully used based on fields of chlorophyll-a (Chla) and sea surface temperature (SST). This approach remains challenging in coastal waters that have complex optical properties (Case-II waters) and that exhibit highly dynamic pCO2 temporal and spatial variations. In the frame of the Belgian funded BELCOLOUR-II project (Optical remote sensing of marine, coastal and inland waters; http://www.mumm.ac.be/BELCOLOUR/), three field cruises per year (April, July and September) for optical measurements were carried in 2007, 2008, 2009 in the Southern Bight of the North Sea (SBNS). Based on these data-sets, we derived algorithms to compute pCO2 from Chl-a and sea surface salinity (SSS) using multipolynomial regressions (MPR). Here we report the first application of the MPR algorithms to derive pCO2 fields in the Belgian coastal zone based on data gathered in 2007, using remote sensed Chl-a (MERIS) and SSS computed with a 3-D hydrodynamical model of SBNS (COHERENS). [less ▲]

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See detailDissolved inorganic carbon dynamics and air-sea carbon dioxide fluxes during coccolithophore blooms in the northwest European continental margin (northern Bay of Biscay)
Suykens, Kim; Delille, Bruno ULg; Chou, Lei et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2010), 24

We report a data set of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) obtained during three cruises in the northern Bay of Biscay carried out in June 2006, May 2007, and May 2008. During these cruises, blooms of the ... [more ▼]

We report a data set of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) obtained during three cruises in the northern Bay of Biscay carried out in June 2006, May 2007, and May 2008. During these cruises, blooms of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi occurred, as indicated by patches of high reflectance on remote sensing images, phytoplankton pigment signatures, and microscopic examinations. Total alkalinity showed a nonconservative behavior as a function of salinity due to the cumulative effect of net community calcification (NCC) on seawater carbonate chemistry during bloom development. The cumulative effect of NCC and net community production (NCP) on DIC and the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO(2)) were evaluated. The decrease of DIC (and increase of pCO(2)) due to NCC was overwhelmingly lower than the decrease of DIC (and decrease of pCO(2)) due to NCP (NCC: NCP << 1). During the cruises, the northern Bay of Biscay acted as a sink of atmospheric CO2 (on average similar to-9.7 mmol C m(-2) d(-1) for the three cruises). The overall effect of NCC in decreasing the CO2 sink during the cruises was low (on average similar to 12% of total air-sea CO2 flux). If this is a general feature in naturally occurring phytoplankton blooms in the North Atlantic Ocean (where blooms of coccolithophores are the most intense and recurrent), and in the global ocean, then the potential feedback on increasing atmospheric CO2 of the projected decrease of pelagic calcification due to thermodynamic CO2 "production" from calcification is probably minor compared to potential feedbacks related to changes of NCP. [less ▲]

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See detailIndividual and interacting effects of pCO2 and temperature on Emiliania huxleyi calcification: Study of the calcite production, the coccolith morphology and the coccosphere size
De Bodt, Caroline; Van Oostende, Nicolas; Harlay, Jérôme ULg et al

in Biogeosciences (2010), 7

The impact of ocean acidification and increased water temperature on marine ecosystems, in particular those involving calcifying organisms, has been gradually recognised. We examined the individual and ... [more ▼]

The impact of ocean acidification and increased water temperature on marine ecosystems, in particular those involving calcifying organisms, has been gradually recognised. We examined the individual and combined effects of increased pCO2 (180 ppm V CO2, 380 ppm V CO2 and 750 ppm V CO2 corresponding to past, present and future CO2 conditions, respectively) and temperature (13°C and 18°C) during the calcification phase of the coccolithophore E. huxleyi using batch culture experiments. We showed that the cell abundance-normalized particulate organic carbon concentration (POC) increased from the present to the future CO2 treatments. A significant effect of pCO2 and of temperature on calcification was found, manifesting itself in a lower cell abundance-normalized particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) content as well as a lower PIC:POC ratio at future CO2 levels and at 18°C. Coccosphere-sized particles showed a size reduction trend with both increasing temperature and CO2 concentration. The influence of the different treatments on coccolith morphology was studied by categorizing SEM coccolith micrographs. The number of well-formed coccoliths decreased with increasing pCO2 while temperature did not have a significant impact on coccolith morphology. No interacting effect of pCO2 and temperature was observed on calcite production, coccolith morphology or on coccosphere size. Finally, our results suggest that ocean acidification might have a larger adverse impact on coccolithophorid calcification than surface water warming. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimating pCO2 from remote sensing in the Belgian Coastal Zone
Borges, Alberto ULg; Ruddick, K.; Lacroix, G. et al

in ESA Living Planet Symposium : 28 June - 2 July 2010, Bergen, Norway (2010)

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See detailRole of pelagic calcification and export of carbonate production in climate change
Chou, Lei; Harlay, Jérôme ULg; De Bodt, Caroline et al

Poster (2009, November 16)

The marine carbon cycle constitutes a key component of the climate system. It has been shown that one-fourth of the anthropogenic CO2 emitted to the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean, leading to the ... [more ▼]

The marine carbon cycle constitutes a key component of the climate system. It has been shown that one-fourth of the anthropogenic CO2 emitted to the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean, leading to the acidification of the surface ocean and the modification of seawater carbonate chemistry. This could have major impacts on the ocean biogeochemical carbon cycling and ecosystem dynamics. Yet, the resulting feedbacks on climate change are still poorly understood. Interdisciplinary biogeochemical investigations, assisted by remote sensing, have been conducted during three consecutive years along the shelf break of the Northern Bay of Biscay where coccolithophorid blooms dominated by Emiliania huxleyi are frequently and recurrently observed. Rates of various processes governing the coccolithophore ecosystem dynamics have been determined and air-sea CO2 fluxes evaluated. The key results will be presented and discussed to evaluate the role in climate regulation of calcification, primary production and export processes during coccolithophorid blooms. [less ▲]

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See detailCoccolithophores at the continental margin: Biogeochemical aspects of bloom formation and development
Harlay, Jérôme ULg

Scientific conference (2009, June 22)

Coccolithophores are probably the most important pelagic producers of calcium carbonate and perhaps the most important contributor to contemporary calcium carbonate production. The accumulation in the ... [more ▼]

Coccolithophores are probably the most important pelagic producers of calcium carbonate and perhaps the most important contributor to contemporary calcium carbonate production. The accumulation in the photic zone of the calcite produced during the blooms of the most common species, Emiliania huxleyi, produces high-reflectance (HR) patches visible from space. In the context of global warming and ocean acidification, there remain some doubts regarding the future of this group and the carbon (C) fluxes associated to coccolithophorid blooms at the global scale. A multi-year survey of coccolithophorid blooms, from 2002 to 2008, was carried out along the continental margin of the northern Bay of Biscay and focused on pelagic processes. Based on the hydrographic and biogeochemical data obtained during those campaigns and the analysis of satellite images of sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a concentration and reflectance, we describe the properties of the HR patches in this region and emphasize on the ecological niche of E. huxleyi. This study offered the opportunity to investigate the impact of coccolithophorid blooms on the exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the air-sea interface and the coupling between primary production and calcification in the field, as determined by 14C incorporation. The distribution of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) was investigated and the production of TEP is proposed as a mechanism for bloom termination, the critical step leading to massive export depth. Supra-lysoclinal dissolution of coccoliths, as supported by the analysis of scanning electron micrographs, will be discussed in combination with the formation of aggregates to provide a scheme of the onset of the coccolithophorid bloom to its decay. [less ▲]

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See detailBiogeochemistry and carbon budget during a coccolithophorid bloom in the northern Bay of Biscay (June 2006)
Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Borges, Alberto ULg; De Bodt, Caroline et al

Poster (2009, April 19)

Carbon cycling processes (primary production (PPp), calcification (CAL), bacterial production and pelagic community respiration (PCR)) and variables (partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and total alkalinity ... [more ▼]

Carbon cycling processes (primary production (PPp), calcification (CAL), bacterial production and pelagic community respiration (PCR)) and variables (partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and total alkalinity (TA)) were measured in early June 2006 at several stations in the northern Bay of Biscay. These measurements were characterized with respect to the coccolithophorid blooming (growth or decline) based on satellite remote sensing (high reflectance (HR)) and other biogeochemical measurements i.e. inorganic nutrients, chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), phaeopigments (Phaeo), particulate inorganic carbon (PIC), particulate organic carbon (POC) and particulate nitrogen (PN)). The major HR patch was located over the shelf, along the continental margin and corresponded to declining bloom conditions characterized by moderate Chl-a <1.0 µg L-1, dissolved phosphate (PO4) depletion, low (<2.0 µmol L-1) dissolved silicate (DSi), low potential primary production (<0.25 µmol C L-1 h-1) and calcification rates (0.02-0.10 µmol C L-1 h-1). Yet, surface waters were undersaturated in CO2 with respect to atmospheric equilibrium. We present a coherent scheme of the C dynamics of a coccolithophorid bloom along the continental margin of the Bay of Biscay, an active hydrodynamic area, based on standing stocks and processes including 14C-based particulate primary production, CAL and PCR. A carbon budget obtained by integrating PPp, CAL and PCR over the water column highlights the importance of C extracellular production to sustain the bacterial demand in the twilight zone, which has also several repercussions on the fate of organic and inorganic C production in the photic zone during the different stages of the bloom. [less ▲]

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See detailBiogeochemical study of coccolithophorid blooms in the context of climate change
Harlay, Jérôme ULg

Doctoral thesis (2009)

Coccolithophores are unicellular microscopic algae (Haptophyta) surrounded by calcium carbonate plates that are produced during their life cycle. These species, whose contemporary contributor is Emiliania ... [more ▼]

Coccolithophores are unicellular microscopic algae (Haptophyta) surrounded by calcium carbonate plates that are produced during their life cycle. These species, whose contemporary contributor is Emiliania huxleyi, are mainly found in the sub-polar and temperate oceans, where they produce huge blooms visible from space. Coccolithophores are sensitive to ocean acidification that results from the ongoing accumulation of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. The response of these organisms to global change appears to be related to the reduction of their ability to produce calcium carbonate at the cellular level. At the community levels, one anticipates changes in the carbon fluxes associated to their blooms as calcification is reduced. However, the consequences of such environmental changes on this species are speculative and require improvements in the description of the mechanisms controlling the organic and inorganic carbon production and export. The first aspect of this work was to study the response of these organisms to artificially modified CO2 concentrations representative of the conditions occurring in the past (glacial) and those expected by the end of the century (2100). Two different levels were examined: the continuous monospecific cultures (chemostats) allowed us to work at the cellular level while the mesocosms gave light to the mechanisms taking place in an isolated fraction of the natural community. The second aspect of this work consisted of field studies carried out during four cruises (2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006) in the northern Bay of Biscay, where the occurrence of E. huxleyi blooms were observed in late spring. I describe the vertical profiles of biogeochemical variables (nutrients, chlorophyll-a, dissolved inorganic carbon chemistry, particulate carbon, transparent exopolymer particles (TEP)) and study processes such as primary production, calcification and bacterial production. The properties of these blooms are compared with those reported in the literature and enriched with original measurements such as the abundance and concentration of TEP that could play an important role in carbon export to the deep ocean, modifying the properties of the settling ballasted aggregates. [less ▲]

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See detailCell lysis during coccolithophorid blooms in the Northern Bay of Biscay
De Bodt, Caroline; Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Roevros, Nathalie et al

Poster (2009, January 25)

Phytoplankton cell lysis occurs in natural populations and is often associated with viral activity and zooplankton grazing. Cell lysis rates are expected to increase towards the decaying phase of the ... [more ▼]

Phytoplankton cell lysis occurs in natural populations and is often associated with viral activity and zooplankton grazing. Cell lysis rates are expected to increase towards the decaying phase of the bloom and may be associated with enhanced microbial activity and export of particulate matter to the seafloor. Their estimation was based on the measurement of esterase (a cytoplasmic enzyme) activity expected to appear in the water only after cell breakage. Field investigations, supported by remote sensing data, were conducted in recent years during late spring in the Northern Bay of Biscay, where frequent and recurrent coccolithophorid blooms are observed. Results on cell lysis rates determined in surface waters will be presented with relevant biogeochemical parameters (temperature, particulate organic and inorganic carbon, transparent exopolymer particles, nutrients, chlorophyll a) in order to investigate phytoplankton dynamics in relation to coccolithophorid development. The use of this parameter to characterize bloom termination, especially during coccolithophorid blooms will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards a comprehensive C-budgeting approach of a coccolithophorid bloom in the Northern Bay of Biscay (June 2006)
Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Borges, Alberto ULg; De Bodt, Caroline et al

Poster (2009, January 25)

A biogeochemical multidisciplinary survey was carried out in the northern Bay of Biscay, in early June 2006, during which 14C-based primary production and calcification were determined as well as O2-based ... [more ▼]

A biogeochemical multidisciplinary survey was carried out in the northern Bay of Biscay, in early June 2006, during which 14C-based primary production and calcification were determined as well as O2-based community respiration. Contemporary remote sensing images showed several patches of high reflectance (HR) in the investigated area. Based on remote sensing and in situ measured biogeochemical parameters, the area exhibited varying coccolithophorid bloom stages from its early development to the post-bloom stages. The major HR patch, characterizing a post-stationary stage of the bloom, was located between 48°N and 49°N over the shelf along the continental margin. It was associated with moderate chlorophyll-a levels, never exceeding 1.0 µg L-1, dissolved phosphorus and silica depletion, and undersaturation of CO2 with respect to atmospheric equilibrium. Considered as the main drivers of the C cycle in this area, the CO2 fluxes associated with primary production, calcification and respiration were integrated in order to provide a comprehensive C budget in the area. [less ▲]

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See detailDynamics of polysaccharides and transparent exopolymer particles during a coccolithophorid bloom in the Bay of Biscay
Händel, Nicole; Piontek, Judith; Harlay, Jérôme ULg et al

Poster (2009, January 25)

Carbohydrates comprise a large fraction (~30 %) of organic matter in the ocean (Pakulski and Benner, 1994). The production of polysaccarides (CCHO) in seawater is mainly linked to autotrophic processes ... [more ▼]

Carbohydrates comprise a large fraction (~30 %) of organic matter in the ocean (Pakulski and Benner, 1994). The production of polysaccarides (CCHO) in seawater is mainly linked to autotrophic processes. CCHO serve as structural and storage compounds, or are released by exudation, cell lysis or leakage to the dissolved organic matter pool. Concentrations of total hydrolyzable neutral sugars range from 200-800nM and 20-170nM in surface and deep waters, respectively (Benner, 2002). It has been shown that CCHO, in particular acidic polysaccharides, are involved in aggregation processes, e.g. the formation of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP). Recently, it has been suggested that ocean acidification increases TEP production, and therefore potentially enhances particle aggregation (Engel 2002, Mari 2008). Here, we present data on the abundance and composition of neutral and acidic CCHO and on TEP, obtained from field investigations and from CO2-controlled chemostat experiments that were conducted during a coccolithophore bloom in the Bay of Biscay 2006. Based on our findings, we discuss the partitioning of CCHO into gel particles, potential effects of ocean acidification and related consequences for organic matter export. [less ▲]

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See detailOrganic surface coating on Coccolithophores - Emiliania huxleyi: Its determination and implication in the marine carbon cycle
Godoi, R. H. M.; Aerts, K.; Harlay, Jérôme ULg et al

in Microchemical Journal (2009), 91(2), 266-271

Most of the marine precipitation of CaCO3 is due to the biological activities of planktonic and benthic organisms in waters largely oversaturated with respect to calcium carbonates. This saturation state ... [more ▼]

Most of the marine precipitation of CaCO3 is due to the biological activities of planktonic and benthic organisms in waters largely oversaturated with respect to calcium carbonates. This saturation state is expected to decrease as CO2 increases in seawater. A conventional view in oceanography suggests that calcium carbonates organisms are preserved in oversaturated waters and dissolve only below the lysocline. However. it has be postulated that a fraction of the CaCO3 precipitated biogenically could dissolve in oversaturated waters due to the formation of microenvironments in which respired CO2 decreases the saturation state of seawater (Omega) in the vicinity of CaCO3 crystals. In the present study, cells of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi obtained from laboratory cultures and field samples collected in the Gulf of Biscay, were examined using "variable-energy" electron-probe microanalysis. to determine the presence and thickness of their organic coating. In addition, a new approach for transferring micrometer-sized particles from a filter onto transmission electron microscope grids using manipulators was used to investigate individual coccolithophores. The dry thickness of an organic coating over the coccolithophore surface was found to range between 280 and 350 nm. The resemblance of this coating to the carbohydrates produced and released by the cell is discussed as well as their potential for constituting a microenvironment that hosts bacteria. The properties of this organic coating and its role in the preservation/dissolution and export of biogenic carbonates in the water column are one of the major issues of carbonate geochemistry. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailContribution of a Dense Population of the Brittle Star Acrocnida brachiata (Montagu) to the Biogeochemical Fluxes of CO2 in a Temperate Coastal Ecosystem
Davoult, D.; Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Gentil, F.

in Estuaries and Coasts (2009), 32(6), 1103-1110

The production of organic matter and calcium carbonate by a dense population of the brittle star Acrocnida brachiata (Echinodermata) was calculated using demographic structure, population density, and ... [more ▼]

The production of organic matter and calcium carbonate by a dense population of the brittle star Acrocnida brachiata (Echinodermata) was calculated using demographic structure, population density, and relations between the size (disk diameter) and the ash-free dry weight (AFDW) or the calcimass. During a 2-year survey in the Bay of Seine (Eastern English Channel, France), organic production varied from 29 to 50 g(AFDW) m(-2) year(-1) and CaCO3 production from 69 to 104 g(CaCO3) m(-2) year(-1). Respiration was estimated between 1.7 and 2.0 mol(CO2) m(-2) year(-1). Using the molar ratio (psi) of CO2 released: CaCO3 precipitated, this biogenic precipitation of calcium carbonate would result in an additional release between 0.5 and 0.7 mol(CO2) m(-2) year(-1) that represented 23% and 26% of total CO2 fluxes (sum of calcification and respiration). The results of the present study suggest that calcification in temperate shallow environments should be considered as a significant source of CO2 to seawater and thus a potential source of CO2 to the atmosphere, emphasizing the important role of the biomineralization (estimated here) and dissolution (endoskeletons of dead individuals) in the carbon budget of temperate coastal ecosystems. [less ▲]

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See detailAbundance and size distribution of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) in a coccolithophorid bloom in the northern Bay of Biscay
Harlay, Jérôme ULg; De Bodt, Caroline; Engel, Anja et al

in Deep-Sea Research Part I, Oceanographic Research Papers (2009), 56(8), 1251-1265

The distribution of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) was investigated during a coccolithophorid bloom in the northern Bay of Biscay (North Atlantic Ocean) in early June 2006. MODIS chlorophyll-a ... [more ▼]

The distribution of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) was investigated during a coccolithophorid bloom in the northern Bay of Biscay (North Atlantic Ocean) in early June 2006. MODIS chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) and reflectance images before and during the cruise were used to localize areas of important biological activity and high reflectance (HR). TEP profiles along the continental margin, determined using microscopic (TEPmicro) and colorimetric (TEPcolor) methods, showed abundant (6.1 x 10(6)-4.4 x 10(7) L-1) and relatively small (0.5-20 mu m) particles, leading to a low total volume fraction (0.05-2.2 ppm) of TEPmicro and similar vertical profiles of TEPcolor Estimates of carbon content in TEP (TEP-C) derived from the microscopic approach yielded surface concentration of 1.50 mu mol CL-1. The contribution of TEP-C to particulate organic carbon (POC) was estimated to be 12% (molar C ratio) during this survey. Our results suggest that TEP formation is a probable first step to rapid and efficient export of C during declining coccolithophorid blooms. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailBiogeochemical Investigations of Coccolithophore Blooms along the Continental Margin of the Northern Bay of Biscay: Highlights of the PEACE Project
Chou, Lei; Harlay, Jérôme ULg; De Bodt, Caroline et al

Poster (2008, October 06)

Recent studies have demonstrated that changing ocean chemistry due to ocean acidification poses a growing threat for marine organisms such as corals, coccolithophores and many others that form calcareous ... [more ▼]

Recent studies have demonstrated that changing ocean chemistry due to ocean acidification poses a growing threat for marine organisms such as corals, coccolithophores and many others that form calcareous skeletons. Its biogeochemical feedbacks and impact on the oceanic carbon cycle are yet to be quantified. Coccolithophores are the major calcifying phytoplankton in the sub-polar and temperate regions of the world’s ocean. They produce furthermore transparent exopolymer particles (TEP), which are known to promote aggregate formation. Combined with the CaCO3 ballast effect, large-scale coccolithophore blooms could thus contribute to the export of organic carbon to deep waters on relatively short time scales. During the Belgian PEACE project, we have conducted yearly interdisciplinary biogeochemical surveys, assisted by remote sensing, along the continental margin of the northern Bay of Biscay where coccolithophore blooms dominated by Emiliania huxleyi are frequently and recurrently observed (Figure 1). Rates of various processes governing the coccolithophore ecosystem dynamics have been determined and associated biogeochemical parameters analysed. The overall objective is to evaluate the role in climate regulation of calcification, primary production and export processes during coccolithophore blooms. Here we report the principal results obtained during the 2006 campaign. [less ▲]

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See detailCoccolithophore bloom dynamics shape bacterioplankton communities in the northern Bay of Biscay
Van Oostende, Nicolas; Vyverman, Wim; Harlay, Jérôme ULg et al

Poster (2008, August 17)

Coccolithophores (Prymnesiophyceae) such as Emiliania huxleyi belong to the most productive calcifying organisms in the oceans. During two consecutive years we assessed bacterial diversity and dynamics ... [more ▼]

Coccolithophores (Prymnesiophyceae) such as Emiliania huxleyi belong to the most productive calcifying organisms in the oceans. During two consecutive years we assessed bacterial diversity and dynamics during the course of spring phytoplankton blooms dominated by coccolithophores in the northern part of the Bay of Biscay. Bacterioplankton community composition was assessed by means of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) in combination with 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. We used ordination analysis to relate bacterioplankton community dynamics to phytoplankton pigment data and environmental parameters (nutrient concentrations, total alkalinity, concentration of transparent exopolymeric particles (TEP), pCO2). We found a clear difference in composition between the free-living and the particle-associated bacterial assemblage, with the identified Flavobacteria and Sphingobacteria phylotypes being characteristic for the particle-associated bacterial assemblage and Alfaproteobacteria and members of the SAR86 cluster dominating the free-living bacterial assemblage. Stations along the continental margin, at different stages in the coccolithophore bloom, were characterized by distinct bacterial assemblages which correlated well with changes in phytoplankton community composition and TEP abundance. We hypothesize that coccolithophore bloom dynamics shape both the free-living and the particle associated bacterial assemblages through phytoplankton group-specific associations and TEP production [less ▲]

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See detailA mathematical modelling of bloom of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi in a mesocosm experiment
Joassin, Pascal ULg; Delille, Bruno ULg; Soetaert, Karline et al

Poster (2008, July 23)

A dynamic model has been developed to represent biogeochemical variables and processes observed during a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi coccolithophore. This bloom was induced in a mesocosm experiment during ... [more ▼]

A dynamic model has been developed to represent biogeochemical variables and processes observed during a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi coccolithophore. This bloom was induced in a mesocosm experiment during which the ecosystem development was followed over a period of 23-days through changes in various biogeochemical parameters such as inorganic nutrients (nitrate, ammonium and phosphate), total alkalinity (TA), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2), dissolved oxygen (O2), photosynthetic pigments, particulate organic carbon (POC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), Transparent Exopolymer Particles (TEP), primary production, and calcification. This dynamic model is based on unbalanced algal growth and balanced bacterial growth. In order to adequately reproduce the observations, the model includes an explicit description of phosphorus cycling, calcification, TEP production and an enhanced mortality due to viral lysis. The model represented carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus fluxes observed in the mesocosms. Modelled profiles of algal biomass and final concentrations of DIC and nutrients are in agreement with the experimental observations. [less ▲]

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See detailA mathematical modelling of bloom of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi in a mesocosm experiment
Joassin, Pascal ULg; Delille, Bruno ULg; Soetaert, K. et al

in Biogeosciences Discussions (2008), 5

A dynamic model has been developed to represent biogeochemical variables and processes observed during a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi coccolithophore. This bloom was induced in a mesocosm experiment during ... [more ▼]

A dynamic model has been developed to represent biogeochemical variables and processes observed during a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi coccolithophore. This bloom was induced in a mesocosm experiment during which the ecosystem development was followed over a period of 23-days through changes in various biogeochemical parameters such as inorganic nutrients (nitrate, ammonium and phosphate), total alkalinity (TA), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), partial pressure of CO[SUB]2[/SUB] (pCO[SUB]2[/SUB]), dissolved oxygen (O[SUB]2[/SUB]), photosynthetic pigments, particulate organic carbon (POC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), Transparent Exopolymer Particles (TEP), primary production, and calcification. This dynamic model is based on unbalanced algal growth and balanced bacterial growth. In order to adequately reproduce the observations, the model includes an explicit description of phosphorus cycling, calcification, TEP production and an enhanced mortality due to viral lysis. The model represented carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus fluxes observed in the mesocosms. Modelled profiles of algal biomass and final concentrations of DIC and nutrients are in agreement with the experimental observations. [less ▲]

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See detailBiocalcification by Emiliania huxleyi in batch culture experiments
De Bodt, Caroline; Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Chou, Lei

in Mineralogical Magazine (2008), 72(1), 251-256

Coccolithophores, among which Emiliania huxleyi is the most abundant and widespread species, are considered the most productive calcifying organism oil earth. The export of organic carbon and ... [more ▼]

Coccolithophores, among which Emiliania huxleyi is the most abundant and widespread species, are considered the most productive calcifying organism oil earth. The export of organic carbon and calcification are the main drivers of the biological CO2 pump and are expected to change with oceanic acidification. Coccolithophores are further known to produce transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) that promote particle aggregation. As a result, the TEP and biogenic calcium carbonate (CaCO3) contribute to the export of carbon from the surface ocean to deep waters. In this context, we followed the development and the decline of E. huxleyi using batch experiments with monospecific cultures. We studied the link between different processes Such as photosynthesis, calcification and the production of TEP. The onset of calcification was delayed in relation to photosynthesis. The timing and the general feature of the dynamics of calcification were closely related to the saturation state of seawater with respect to calcite, Omega(cal). The production of TEP was enhanced after the decline of phytoplankton growth. After nutrient exhaustion, particulate organic carbon (POC) concentration increased linearly with increasing TEP concentration, suggesting that TEP contributes to the POC increase. The production of CaCO3 is also strongly correlated with that of TEP, suggesting that calcification may be considered as a Source of TEP precursors. [less ▲]

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