Sulfurization of dissolved organic matter in the anoxic water column of the Black Sea

Gomez-Saez, Gonzalo V.; Dittmar, Thorsten; Holtappels, Moritz; Pohlabeln, Anika M.; Lichtschlag, Anna ORCID:; Schnetger, Bernhard; Boetius, Antje; Niggemann, Jutta. 2021 Sulfurization of dissolved organic matter in the anoxic water column of the Black Sea. Science Advances, 7 (25). eabf6199.

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Today’s oceans store as much dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the water column as there is CO2 in the atmosphere, and as such dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important component of the global carbon cycle. It was shown that in anoxic marine sediments, reduced sulfur species (e.g., H2S) abiotically react with organic matter, contributing to carbon preservation. It is not known whether such processes also contribute to preserving DOM in ocean waters. Here, we show DOM sulfurization within the sulfidic waters of the Black Sea, by combining elemental, isotopic, and molecular analyses. Dissolved organic sulfur (DOS) is formed largely in the water column and not derived from sediments or allochthonous nonmarine sources. Our findings suggest that during large-scale anoxic events, DOM may accumulate through abiotic reactions with reduced sulfur species, having long-lasting effects on global climate by enhancing organic carbon sequestration.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 2375-2548
Date made live: 12 Oct 2021 21:19 +0 (UTC)

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