eCite Digital Repository

RESPIRE: an in situ particle interceptor to conduct particle remineralization and microbial dynamics studies in the oceans’ Twilight Zone


Boyd, PW and McDonnell, A and Valdez, J and LeFevre, D and Gall, MP, RESPIRE: an in situ particle interceptor to conduct particle remineralization and microbial dynamics studies in the oceans' Twilight Zone, Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 13, (9) pp. 494-508. ISSN 1541-5856 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography

DOI: doi:10.1002/lom3.10043


Sinking biogenic particles are centers of remineralization in the ocean's interior, a stratum which has large vertical biogeochemical gradients in the mesopelagic (i.e., 100–1000 m depth) realm. Due to difficulties in studying this region, our understanding of particle remineralization is based upon investigations employing biogeochemical algorithms, proxies, or shipboard incubations of deep-water samples. Here we circumvent many of these issues by fabricating and deploying a REspiration of Sinking Particles In the subsuRface ocEan (RESPIRE) particle interceptor in the open ocean to nonintrusively intercept settling particles at fixed depths (100–300 m). After a preprogrammed particle interception phase, the RESPIRE interceptor switches to a particle incubation mode, during which remineralization rate at in situ temperature and pressure is tracked using a dissolved-oxygen optode time series. A rotating (every 10 min) indented sphere transfers particles into a chamber that houses the dissolved-oxygen optode, and minimizes access to particles by mesozooplankton. Deployments of typically 72 h (36 h interception: 36 h incubation) yield rates of particle remineralization primarily by attached microbes, and concurrently provide samples for geochemical analyses and microbial assays to explore the relationship between bacterial community structure, enzymatic solubilisation, and trends in particle remineralization. The interceptor has also been used to follow temporal changes in microbial dynamics associated with remineralization. RESPIRE provides more realistic conditions within which remineralization rates can be measured in the ocean's interior, and will foster new linkages between the disparate disciplines of microbial physiology and particle biogeochemistry in the ocean's Twilight Zone.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biological pump, particle flux, remineralisation
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Oceanography not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Boyd, PW (Professor Philip Boyd)
ID Code:106298
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2016-02-04
Last Modified:2017-11-01

Repository Staff Only: item control page