Iron limitation of the postbloom phytoplankton communities in the Iceland Basin

Nielsdóttir, Maria C., Moore, Christopher Mark, Sanders, Richard, Hinz, Daria J. and Achterberg, Eric P. (2009) Iron limitation of the postbloom phytoplankton communities in the Iceland Basin. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 23, GB3001. (doi:10.1029/2008GB003410).


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Measurements performed on a cruise within the central Iceland Basin in the high-latitude (>55°N) North Atlantic Ocean during late July to early September 2007 indicated that the concentration of dissolved iron (dFe) in surface waters was very low, with an average of 0.093 (<0.010–0.218, n = 43) nM, while nitrate concentrations ranged from 2 to 5 ?M and in situ chlorophyll concentrations ranged from 0.2 to 0.4 mg m?3. In vitro iron addition experiments demonstrated increased photosynthetic efficiencies (Fv/Fm) and enhanced chlorophyll accumulation in treatments amended with iron when compared to controls. Enhanced net growth rates for a number of phytoplankton taxa including the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi were also observed following iron addition. These results provide strong evidence that iron limitation within the postspring bloom phytoplankton community contributes to the observed residual macronutrient pool during summer. Low atmospheric iron supply and suboptimal Fe:N ratios in winter overturned deep water are suggested to result in the formation of this seasonal high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll (HNLC) condition, representing an inefficiency of the biological (soft tissue) carbon pump in the region.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1029/2008GB003410
ISSNs: 0886-6236 (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)
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > National Oceanography Centre (NERC)
ePrint ID: 67453
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
1 July 2009Published
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2009
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:54
Iron Biogeochemistry in the High Latitude North Atlantic
Funded by: NERC (NE/E006833/1)
Led by: Eric Pieter Achterberg
4 February 2008 to 31 March 2013
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

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