Lizotte, M.; Levasseur, M.; Michaud, S.; Scarratt, M.G.; Merzouk, A.; Gosselin, M.; Pommier, J.; Rivkin, R.B.; Kiene, R.P. (2012). Macroscale patterns of the biological cycling of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and dimethylsulfide (DMS) in the Northwest Atlantic. Biogeochemistry. 110 (1-3) 183-200.
The influence of the seasonal development of microplankton communities on the cycling of dimethylsulfide (DMS) and its precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) was investigated along a South-North gradient (36-59(A degrees)N) in the Northwest (NW) Atlantic Ocean. Three surveys allowed the sampling of surface mixed layer (SML) waters at stations extending from the subtropical gyre to the Greenland Current during May, July and October 2003. Pools and transformation rates of DMSP and DMS were quantified and related to prevailing physical and biochemical conditions, phytoplankton abundance and taxonomic composition, as well as bacterioplankton abundance and leucine uptake. The South-North progression of the diatom bloom, a prominent feature in the NW Atlantic, did not influence the production of DMS whereas conditions in the N Atlantic Drift lead to a persistent bloom of DMSP-rich flagellate-dominated phytoplankton community and high net DMS production rates. Macroscale patterns of the observed variables were further explored using principal component analysis (PCA). The first axis of the PCA showed a strong association between the spatio-temporal distribution of DMSP and the abundance of several phytoplankton groups including dinoflagellates and prymnesiophytes, as well as with microbial-mediated DMSPd consumption and yields and rates of the conversion of DMSP into DMS. The second axis revealed a strong association between concentrations of DMS and SML depth and photosynthetically active radiation, a result supporting the prominent role of solar radiation as a driver of DMS dynamics.