Image_6_Concentrations and Uptake of Dissolved Organic Phosphorus Compounds in the Baltic Sea.TIF
The dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) pool in marine waters contains a variety of different compounds. Knowledge of the distribution and utilization of DOP by phyto- and bacterioplankton is limited, but critical to our understanding of the marine phosphorus cycle. In the Baltic Sea, detailed information about the composition of DOP and its turnover is lacking. This study reports the concentrations and uptake rates of DOP compounds, namely, adenosine triphosphate (dATP), deoxyribonucleic acid (dDNA), and phospholipids (dPL), in the Baltic Proper and in Finnish coastal waters in the summers of 2011 and 2012. Both areas differed in their dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) concentrations (0.16 and 0.02–0.04 μM), in the C:P (123–178) and N:P (18–27) ratios, and in abundances of filamentous cyanobacteria and of autotrophic and heterotrophic picoplankton. The mean concentrations of dATP-P, dDNA-P, and dPL-P were 4.3–6.4, 0.05–0.12, and 1.9–6.8 nM, respectively, together contributing between 2.4 and 5.2% of the total DOP concentration. The concentrations of the compounds varied between and within the investigated regions and the distribution patterns of the individual components are not linked to each other. DIP was taken up at rates of 10.1–380.8 nM d-1. dATP-P and dDNA-P were consumed simultaneously with DIP at rates of 6.9–24.1 and 0.09–0.19 nM d-1, respectively, with the main proportion taken up by the size fraction <3 μm and with DIP to be the dominant source. Groups of hydrographical and biological parameters were identified in the multiple regression analysis to impact the concentrations and uptake rates. It points to the complexity of the regulation. Our results indicate that the investigated DOP compounds, particularly dATP-P, can make significant contributions to the P nutrition of microorganisms and their use seems to be not intertwined. Therefore, more detailed knowledge of all DOP components including variation of concentrations and the utilization is required to understand the roles of DOP in marine ecosystems.