Iron limits primary productivity during spring bloom development in the central North Atlantic


Moore, C. Mark, Mills, Matthew M., Milne, Angela, Langlois, Rebecca, Achterberg, Eric P., Lochte, Karin, Geider, Richard J. and La Roche, Julie (2006) Iron limits primary productivity during spring bloom development in the central North Atlantic. Global Change Biology, 12, (4), 626-634. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2006.01122.x).

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Description/Abstract

We present in situ biophysical measurements and bioassay experiments that demonstrate iron limitation of primary productivity during the spring bloom in the central North Atlantic. Mass balance calculations indicate that nitrate drawdown is iron (Fe)-limited and that aeolian Fe supply to this region cannot support maximal phytoplankton growth during the bloom. Using a simple simulation model, we show that relief of Fe limitation during the spring bloom can increase nitrate drawdown and, hence, new primary production, by 70%. We conclude that the episodic nature of iron supplied by dust deposition is an important factor controlling the dynamics of the spring bloom. From this, we hypothesize that variability in the timing and magnitude of the spring bloom in response to aeolian Fe supply will affect carbon drawdown and food web dynamics in the central North Atlantic.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1354-1013 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
ePrint ID: 38083
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2014 15:20
Projects:
The biophysical basis of iron-light co-limitation of phytoplankton photosynthesis
Funded by: NERC (NE/C518114/2)
Led by: Christopher Mark Moore
1 July 2007 to 31 December 2008
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/38083

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