Environmental control on the variability of DMS and DMSP in the Mauritanian upwelling region
Dimethylsulphide (DMS) and dissolved and particulate dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP d, DMSP p) were measured in near-surface waters along the Mauritanian coast, Northwest Africa, during the upwelling season in February 2008. DMS, DMSP d and DMSP p surface concentrations of up to 10 nmol L −1, 15 nmol L −1 and 990 nmol L −1, respectively, were measured. However, the DMS concentrations measured are in the low range compared to other upwelling regions. The maximum DMSP p concentration is the highest reported from upwelling regions so far, which might indicate that the Mauritanian upwelling is a hot spot for DMSP. Within the phytoplankton groups, dinoflagellates were identified as important contributors to DMS concentrations, while other algae seemed to have only a minor or no influence on DMS and DMSP concentrations. A pronounced switch from high DMSP to high DMS concentrations was observed when the nitrogen to phosphorus ratio (N:P) was below 7. The high DMS/DMSP ratios at N:P ratios <7 indicate that nitrogen limitation presumably triggered a switch from DMSP to DMS independent of the species composition. Our results underline the importance of coastal upwelling regions as a local source for surface seawater sulphur.