The in situ production of necromass and its role as a power source in sustaining heterotrophic microorganisms in marine sediments has never been quantified. Here we quantify the power availability from necromass oxidation to living microorganisms buried in marine sediments over millions of years, first in the oligotrophic South Pacific Gyre (SPG) and second on a global scale. We calculate that power from autochthonously produced necromass in the upper meter of sediment underlying SPG provides only a small fraction (~0.02%) of the maintenance power demand of the living community (1.9 × 10−19 W cell−1). Power from necromass oxidation diminishes considerably with increasing sediment depth (and thus sediment age). Alternatively, the oxidation of allochthonous organic matter, and of radiolytic H2, provides power equivalent to or in excess of the maintenance demands of living microorganisms at SPG. On a global scale, necromass may support the maintenance power demand of 2 to 13% of the microbial community in relatively young sediments (<10,000 years) when it is oxidized with SO42− and O2, respectively. However, in older sediments, the power supplied by necromass is negligible (<0.01%). Nevertheless, the oxidation of a single dead cell per year provides sufficient power to support the maintenance demands of dozens to thousands of cells in low‐energy marine sediments. This raises the possibility that the production and oxidation of necromass may provide a mechanism for non‐growing microorganisms to endure unfavorable, low‐energy settings over geological timescales.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera