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Biogeochemistry of Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in the Surface Microlayer and Subsurface Seawater of Funka Bay, Japan

  • Yang, Gui-Peng1, 2
  • Tsunogai, Shizuo1
  • Watanabe, Shuichi3
  • 1 Hokkaido University, Laboratory of Marine and Atmospheric Geochemistry, Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Sapporo, 060-0810, Japan , Sapporo
  • 2 Ocean University of China, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Qingdao, 266003, China , Qingdao
  • 3 Japan Marine Science and Technology Center, Natsushima-cho, Yokosuka, 237-0061, Japan , Natsushima-cho, Yokosuka
Published Article
Journal of Oceanography
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Consultants Bureau
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2005
DOI: 10.1007/s10872-005-0020-8
Springer Nature


Twenty-eight sea surface microlayer samples, along with subsurface bulk water samples were collected in Funka Bay, Japan during October 2000–March 2001 and analyzed for dimethylsulfoniopropionate, dissolved (DMSPd) and particulate (DMSPp), and chlorophyll a. The aim of the study was to examine the extent of enrichment of DMSP in the microlayer and its relationship to chlorophyll a, as well as the production rate of dimethylsulfide (DMS) from DMSP and the factors that influence this. The enrichment factor (EF) of DMSPd in the surface microlayer ranged from 0.81 to 4.6 with a mean of 1.85. In contrast, EF of DMSPp in the microlayer varied widely from 0.85–10.5 with an average of 3.21. Chlorophyll a also appeared to be enriched in the microlayer relative to the subsurface water. This may be seen as an important cause of the observed enrichment of DMSP in the microlayer. The concentrations of DMSPp in the surface microlayer showed a strong temporal variation, basically following the change in chlorophyll a levels. Moreover, the microlayer concentrations of DMSPp were, on average, 3-fold higher than the microlayer concentrations of DMSPd and there was a significant correlation between them. Additionally, there was a great variability in the ratios of DMSPp to chlorophyll a over the study period, reflecting seasonal variation in the proportion of DMSP producers in the total phytoplankton assemblage. It is interesting that the production rate of DMS was enhanced in the microlayer and this rate was closely correlated with the microlayer DMSPd concentration. Microlayer enrichment of chlorophyll a and higher DMS production rate in the microlayer provide favorable evidence supporting the view that the sea surface microlayer has a greater biological activity than the underlying water.

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