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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), pp. 626-634. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2006.01122.x).

Record type: Article


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.

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Published date: April 2006


Local EPrints ID: 38083
ISSN: 1354-1013
PURE UUID: 157c0b2d-7fc9-4a09-8b90-ce2dd19e83ba

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Date deposited: 01 Jun 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:40

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Author: C. Mark Moore
Author: Matthew M. Mills
Author: Angela Milne
Author: Rebecca Langlois
Author: Karin Lochte
Author: Richard J. Geider
Author: Julie La Roche

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