Journal article Open Access

Cabled ocean observatory data reveal food supply mechanisms to a cold-water coral reef

van Engeland, Tom; Godø, Olav Rune; Johnsen, Espen; Duineveld, Gerard C. A.; van Oevelen, Dick


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    <subfield code="a">Johnsen, Espen</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Duineveld, Gerard C. A.</subfield>
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    <subfield code="u">NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of Estuarine and Delta Systems, and Utrecht University, Korringaweg 7, 4401NT Yerseke, The Netherlands</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">van Engeland, Tom</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Cabled ocean observatory data reveal food supply mechanisms to a cold-water coral reef</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;Abstract&lt;br&gt;
We investigated food supply mechanisms to a cold-water coral (CWC) reef at 260 m depth on the&lt;br&gt;
Norwegian continental shelf using data from a cabled ocean observatory equipped with Acoustic&lt;br&gt;
Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs), an echosounder, and sensors for chlorophyll, turbidity and&lt;br&gt;
hydrography in the benthic boundary layer (BBL). Tidal currents of up to tens of cm s-1 dominated&lt;br&gt;
BBL hydrodynamics while residual currents were weak (~10 cm s-1), emphasizing a supply and high&lt;br&gt;
retention of locally produced phytodetritus within the trough. A direct connection between the reefs&lt;br&gt;
and surface organic matter (OM) was established by turbulent mixing and passive particle settling, but&lt;br&gt;
relative contributions varied seasonally. Fresh OM from a spring-bloom was quickly mixed into the&lt;br&gt;
BBL, but temperature stratification in summer reduced the surface-to-bottom connectivity and reduced&lt;br&gt;
the phytodetritus supply. A qualitative comparison among acoustic backscatter in the ADCPs (600&lt;br&gt;
kHz, 190 kHz) and echosounder (70 kHz) suggests that vertically migrating zooplankton may present&lt;br&gt;
an alternative food source in summer. Nocturnal feeding by zooplankton in the upper water column&lt;br&gt;
sustains downward OM transport independent from water column mixing and may dominate as food&lt;br&gt;
supply pathway over sedimentation of the phytodetritus, especially during stratified conditions. In&lt;br&gt;
addition, it could present a concentrating mechanism for nutritional components as compensation for&lt;br&gt;
the deteriorating phytodetritus quality. Overall, the observed patterns suggest seasonal changes in the&lt;br&gt;
food supply pathways to the reef communities. The moderating role of temperature stratification in&lt;br&gt;
phytodetritus transport suggests stronger dependence of the cold-water corals on zooplankton for their&lt;br&gt;
dietary requirements with increased stratification under future climate scenarios. This study&lt;br&gt;
demonstrates the added value of permanent ocean observatories to research based on dedicated&lt;br&gt;
campaigns and regular monitoring.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">10.1016/j.pocean.2019.01.007</subfield>
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