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Keywords: Pelotas fecais;  Zooplâncton;  Carbono orgânico particulado;  Remineralização;  Ressurgência;  Cabo Frio (RJ);  Fecal pellets;  Zooplankton;  Particulate organic carbon;  Remineralization;  Upwelling;  Cabo Frio (RJ)
Issue Date: 27-Feb-2013
Abstract: The oceans export atmospheric CO2 to deep in the form of particulate organic carbon (POC) through the sedimentation of planktonic particles: detritus, phytoplankton and fecal pellets (FP). At Cabo Frio, southeast of Brazil margin coast, upwelling events of rich nutrients waters from South Atlantic Central Water (SACW) allow an increase in productivity of phyto and zooplankton communities, POC and FPs. The FPs can export carbon (C) to depth and their contribution to the POC flux is variable and is affected by the configuration of the food chain and remineralization in the water column. The study of the POC flux its made by sedimentation traps, that collect particles in pre-programmed time intervals on the outer continental shelf of Cabo Frio. The swimmers (SW) are zooplankton that interference on POC flux calculation. The SWs enter actively into the sediment traps through vertical migration, causing an overestimation of particle flux. The sampling of FPs and SWs were performed with two sediment traps with 13 sampler bottles at 50 and 100 m depth. The sampling intervals were 5-7 days per bottle during fall and winter of 2011 and summer of 2012. The collected material in the bottles was sieved with 1 mm and 500 μm sieves to separate SWS. The FPs were picked from an aliquot of the sieved sample. SWs and PFs were separated, sorted and their C content was analyzed. The POC flux oscillated between 0.2 and 4,4 mg C m-2 day-1 being higher during the summer, this is a season with higher primary production due to a higher frequency of intrusions of SAWC in the photic layer. The SWs accounted for 63-94 % of C collected in the trap and were composed mainly of copepods and pteropods. The flux of most groups of SWs increased during summer product of mayor food availability and decrease with depth. The C flux of PFs represents an average of 1.5 % of COP in the most of intervals, which suggests predominance of remineralization processes in the water column. The measured variables did not explain the increase of FPs in two intervals of winter (45-56 % of POC), therefore there is a high physical dynamics of water masses at the collection point in the Cabo Frio upwelling system. The high presence of SWs and low flux of PFs and POC describes an area of with low productivity and high remineralization processes.
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