Biological removal of fine-grained lithogenic particles from a large river plume

M. J. Dagg, E. P. Green, B. A. McKee, P. B. Ortner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

The pelagic tunicate, Oikopleura dioica, feeds by non-selectively filtering particles in the size range of 0.2-20 μm. In the northern Gulf of Mexico, particulate matter in this size range contains large amounts of fine-grained lithogenic material because of the influence of the Mississippi River. During May 1992, O. dioica populations filtered between 2 and 44% (mean = 20%) of the upper 5 m each day. The filtered lithogenic particles either remain in the oikopleurid house or are defecated in fecal pellets which have high sinking velocities. Either way, the larvacean populations significantly alter the fates of fine-grained lithogenic particles in these waters and thereby enhance light penetration. The widespread occurrence of oikopleurids in coastal regions of temperate and subtropical oceans suggests they could have a significant influence on the fates of fine-grained lithogenic particles in discharge plumes of many of the world's large, sediment-laden rivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-160
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marine Research
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Biological removal of fine-grained lithogenic particles from a large river plume'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this