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    • Keywords


      Suspended particulate matter; organic matter; particulate nitrogen; amino sugars; micro-organisms; Bay of Bengal

    • Abstract


      Amino sugars (AS) are important constituents of organic matter. However, very little is known about their cycling in marine waters. In this research, we assessed the distribution and cycling of these compounds in waters of the Bay of Bengal. For this purpose, samples of suspended particu late matter (SPM) were collected from 8 depths (surface to 1000 m) at 6 locations during the 166th cruise of the ORV Sagar Kanya in the Bay of Bengal in July/August 2001. The SPM samples were analysed for particulate organic carbon (POC), particulate nitrogen (PN) and AS concentrations and composition. The AS varied between 0.4 and 17.5 nmol/l. Concentrations were high in the surface waters and generally decreased with increasing depth. AS concentration decreased from the south to north. AS accounted for 0.01 to 0.71% and 0.05 to 2.37% of POC and PN, respectively. Rapid decrease in AS-C% and AS-N% with depth indicates that these compounds were preferentially degraded relative to bulk POC and PN. The composition of AS suggests that glucosamine (GLU-N) and galactosamine (GAL-N) were present in the surface SPM samples, and their abundance decreased from surface downwards. Relatively, low values of GLU-N/GAL-N ratio indicate that the organic matter was mostly derived from the detritus of micro-organisms. Our data suggest that chitin, a polymer of the glucosamine produced by many marine organisms was not the major source of AS in the Bay. Rapid cycling of these compounds indicates their importance in the cycling of nitrogen in marine waters

    • Author Affiliations


      Loreta Fernandes1 Fraddry D’Souza1 S G P Matondkar1 Narayan B Bhosle1

      1. National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa - 403 004, India
    • Dates

  • Journal of Earth System Science | News

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