Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) reduction potential in Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) sediments

Nancy I. López*, Carlos M. Duarte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Microbial activity was assayed in sediments under five nutrient-limited Posidonia oceanica meadows on the north-east coast of Spain by measuring potential DMSO reduction to dimethylsulfide (DMS) throughout an annual cycle. Nutrient enrichment of the sediments was used to examine the importance of nutrient availability for potential DMSO reduction. DMSO reduction was observed in all the sediments analysed. Values were higher under anaerobic conditions, and low in spring when seagrass uptake removed most of the interstitial sediment phosphorus. DMSO reduction was correlated with α-glucosidase activity suggesting a link with other microbial activities. Nutrient additions significantly increased DMSO reduction in the meadows studied. The extent of the response varied substantially over the year and was highest during November-December. Microbial DMSO reduction was coupled with nutrient cycles like other bacterial activities. This suggests a possibly important role of nutrient additions in bacterial activity in Mediterranean seagrass sediments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sea Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Dimethyl sulfoxide reduction
  • Dimethylsulfide
  • Microbial activity
  • Seagrass meadows
  • Sediments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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