Microbial nitrification rates in the primary nitrite maximum off southern California

B. B. Ward, Robert J. Olson, Mary Jane Perry

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98 Scopus citations


Autotrophic ammonium oxidation rates are highest (about 4 × 10-8 mol 1-1 d-1 or 7.5 × 10-13 mol cell-1 d-1) below the photic zone in the nitrite maximum layer in California coastal waters, with rates approaching zero at the surface. Cell numbers of ammonium-oxidizing bacteria, however, are approximately constant with depth (about 5 × 104 cells 1-1), indicating greatly enhanced oxidation rates per cell below the photic zone. Light intensity in the water column may control the depth and formation of the primary nitrite maximum in this coastal regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalDeep Sea Research Part A, Oceanographic Research Papers
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1982
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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