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Keywords:

  • Arctic;
  • International Polar Year;
  • SOLAS;
  • climate;
  • dimethylsulfide;
  • plankton

[1] The distribution and biological cycling of the climate active trace gas dimethylsulfide (DMS) and its algal precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) were characterized at 20 stations across the Canadian High Arctic during fall 2007. Transformation rates of DMSP and production rates of DMS from dissolved DMSP (DMSPd) were measured during 3 h onboard incubations with radioactively labeled 35S-DMSP. Particulate DMSP (DMSPp) in surface waters varied between 2 and 39 nmol L−1 and increased with chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentrations (r = 0.84). DMS concentrations in surface waters ranged from 0.05 to 0.8 nmol L−1 and were positively correlated with DMSPp (r = 0.89) and Chl a (r = 0.74). The DMSPd loss rate constant varied from 0.01 to 0.14 h−1 and was also positively correlated with Chl a concentrations (r = 0.67). The turnover time of the DMSPd pool varied between 0.3 and 3.4 days (mean = 0.96 day). Bacterial DMS production varied between 0.01 and 0.51 nmol L−1 d−1 (mean = 0.14 nmol L−1 d−1). Assuming local steady state conditions at the time scale of a day, the turnover time of the DMS pool based only on production from DMSPd was ∼6 days at the sampling stations. This long turnover time suggests that DMS production was dominated by nonbacterial processes during our study. Our results show that DMS production could persist at low rates in late fall under ice-free conditions. The magnitude of this production appears to be limited by the low algal and bacterial production prevailing at that time.