Particulate Carbohydrates and Uronic Acids in the Northern East China Sea

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Marine Science


Carbohydrate species, such as uronic acids, play an important role in oceanic carbon cycling, coagulation and adsorption processes. Concentrations of particulate carbohydrates (PCHO) and uronic acids (PURA) were measured in the northern East China Sea (ECS) during June and November, 2006. In June, maximum concentrations of PCHO and PURA were observed in the surface layer of coastal waters. Their concentrations rapidly decreased with depth, suggesting that they are both bio-reactive. Moreover, phytoplankton abundance and bacteria] biomass seem to be associated with observed PCHO and PURA concentrations in the ECS during June, suggesting that production of carbohydrate species in the ECS is regulated by phytoplankton assemblages, bacterial assimilation or degradation. In November, however, PCHO and PURA concentrations were homogenous within the water column due to strong vertical mixing. No strong correlations were observed between carbohydrate species (PCHO and PURA) and phytoplankton or bacterial biomass, suggesting that production of these compounds in November might be caused by the physiological difference between nutrient limited and non-nutrient limited phytoplankton. Furthermore, strong negative correlations between nutrients and PCHO species suggest that nutrient levels may be one of the driving forces behind the production of these compounds in the ECS. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science





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