Contribution by different marine bacterial communities to particulate beam attenuation

A. Montes Hugo Martin, Hugh Ducklow, Oscar Schofield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Contribution of heterotrophic marine bacteria (HB) to the particulate beam attenuation coefficient (cp) was estimated as a function of latitude in diverse marine regions. Calculations were based on surface measurements (0 to 20 m depth) of bacterial abundance and biovolume, physiooptical empirical relationships, and light scattering models. Relative contribution of spherical HB to cp (cHB/cp) was commonly below 10%, and slightly increased (̃3%) when bacterial shape was assumed to be cylindrical. HB accounted for a larger fraction of cp magnitude at lower latitudes because of the greater abundance of bacteria. HB explained about a third of cp spatial variability in Antarctic (Antarctic Polar Front, Ross Sea) and non-polar (equatorial Pacific Ocean, Arabian Sea) oceanic regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
StatePublished - May 25 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


  • Heterotrophic marine bacteria
  • Light scattering
  • Mie theory
  • Particulate beam attenuation coefficient
  • Polar environments

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