Plankton networks driving carbon export in the oligotrophic ocean

Lionel Guidi 1, 2 Samuel Chaffron 3, 4 Lucie Bittner 5, 6, 7 Damien Eveillard 8 Abdelhalim Larhlimi 8 Simon Roux 9, 10, 11, 12 Youssef Darzi 4 Stéphane Audic 13 L. Berline 1 Jennifer R. Brum 11 Luis Pedro Coelho 14 Julio Cesar Ignacio Espinoza 11 Shruti Malviya 6, 12, 9, 10 Shinichi Sunagawa 14 Céline Dimier 7 Stefanie Kandels-Lewis 15 Marc Picheral 1 Julie Poulain 16 Sarah Searson 1, 2 Lars Stemmann 1 Fabrice Not 17 Pascal Hingamp 18 Sabrina Speich 19 Mick Follows 20 Lee Karp-Boss 21 Emmanuel Boss 21 Hiroyuki Ogata 22 Stephane Pesant 23, 24 Jean Weissenbach 25, 16 Patrick Wincker 16, 25 Silvia G. Acinas 26 Peer Bork 27, 14 13 Daniele Iudicone 28 Matthew B. Sullivan 11 Jeroen Raes 4, 3 Eric Karsenti 6, 15 Chris Bowler 6 Gabriel Gorsky 1
Abstract : The biological carbon pump is the process by which CO2 is transformed to organic carbon via photosynthesis, exported through sinking particles, and finally sequestered in the deep ocean. While the intensity of the pump correlates with plankton community composition, the underlying ecosystem structure driving the process remains largely uncharacterized. Here we use environmental and metagenomic data gathered during the Tara Oceans expedition to improve our understanding of carbon export in the oligotrophic ocean. We show that specific plankton communities, from the surface and deep chlorophyll maximum, correlate with carbon export at 150 m and highlight unexpected taxa such as Radiolaria and alveolate parasites, as well as Synechococcus and their phages, as lineages most strongly associated with carbon export in the subtropical, nutrient-depleted, oligotrophic ocean. Additionally, we show that the relative abundance of a few bacterial and viral genes can predict a significant fraction of the variability in carbon export in these regions.
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Lionel Guidi, Samuel Chaffron, Lucie Bittner, Damien Eveillard, Abdelhalim Larhlimi, et al.. Plankton networks driving carbon export in the oligotrophic ocean. Nature, Nature Publishing Group, 2016, 532, pp.465-470. ⟨10.1038/nature16942⟩. ⟨hal-01275276⟩

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