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Database of diazotrophs in global ocean: abundance, biomass and nitrogen fixation rates

Database of diazotrophs in global ocean: abundance, biomass and nitrogen fixation rates
Database of diazotrophs in global ocean: abundance, biomass and nitrogen fixation rates
Marine N2 fixing microorganisms, termed diazotrophs, are a key functional group in marine pelagic ecosystems. The biological fixation of dinitrogen (N2) to bioavailable nitrogen provides an important new source of nitrogen for pelagic marine ecosystems and influences primary productivity and organic matter export to the deep ocean. As one of a series of efforts to collect biomass and rates specific to different phytoplankton functional groups, we have constructed a database on diazotrophic organisms in the global pelagic upper ocean by compiling about 12 000 direct field measurements of cyanobacterial diazotroph abundances (based on microscopic cell counts or qPCR assays targeting the nifH genes) and N2 fixation rates. Biomass conversion factors are estimated based on cell sizes to convert abundance data to diazotrophic biomass. The database is limited spatially, lacking large regions of the ocean especially in the Indian Ocean. The data are approximately log-normal distributed, and large variances exist in most sub-databases with non-zero values differing 5 to 8 orders of magnitude. Reporting the geometric mean and the range of one geometric standard error below and above the geometric mean, the pelagic N2 fixation rate in the global ocean is estimated to be 62 (52–73) Tg N yr?1 and the pelagic diazotrophic biomass in the global ocean is estimated to be 2.1 (1.4–3.1) Tg C from cell counts and to 89 (43–150) Tg C from nifH-based abundances. Reporting the arithmetic mean and one standard error instead, these three global estimates are 140 ± 9.2 Tg N yr?1, 18 ± 1.8 Tg C and 590 ± 70 Tg C, respectively. Uncertainties related to biomass conversion factors can change the estimate of geometric mean pelagic diazotrophic biomass in the global ocean by about ±70%. It was recently established that the most commonly applied method used to measure N2 fixation has underestimated the true rates. As a result, one can expect that future rate measurements will shift the mean N2 fixation rate upward and may result in significantly higher estimates for the global N2 fixation. The evolving database can nevertheless be used to study spatial and temporal distributions and variations of marine N2 fixation, to validate geochemical estimates and to parameterize and validate biogeochemical models, keeping in mind that future rate measurements may rise in the future. The database is stored in PANGAEA (doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.774851).
1866-3516
47-73
Luo, Y.-W.
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Doney, S.C.
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Bonnet, S.
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Boström, K.H.
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LaRoche, J.
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Marañón, E.
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Needoba, J.A.
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Rahav, E.
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Shiozaki, T.
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Subramaniam, A.
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White, A.E.
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Wu, J.
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Zehr, J.P.
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Luo, Y.-W.
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Doney, S.C.
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Benavides, M.
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Berman-Frank, I.
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Bode, A.
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Bonnet, S.
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Boström, K.H.
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Böttjer, D.
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Capone, D.G.
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Carpenter, E.J.
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Chen, Y.L.
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Church, M.J.
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Dore, J.E.
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Falcón, L.I.
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Fernández, A.
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Foster, R.A.
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Furuya, K.
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Gómez, F.
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Gundersen, K.
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Hynes, A.M.
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Karl, D.M.
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Kitajima, S.
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Langlois, R.J.
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LaRoche, J.
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Letelier, R.M.
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Marañón, E.
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McGillicuddy, D.J.
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Moisander, P.H.
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Moore, C.M.
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Mouriño-Carballido, B.
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Mulholland, M.R.
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Needoba, J.A.
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Orcutt, K.M.
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Poulton, A.J.
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Rahav, E.
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Raimbault, P.
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Rees, A.P.
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Riemann, L.
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Shiozaki, T.
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Subramaniam, A.
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Tyrrell, T.
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Turk-Kubo, K.A.
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Varela, M.
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Villareal, T.A.
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Webb, E.A.
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White, A.E.
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Wu, J.
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Zehr, J.P.
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Luo, Y.-W., Doney, S.C., Anderson, L.A., Benavides, M., Berman-Frank, I., Bode, A., Bonnet, S., Boström, K.H., Böttjer, D., Capone, D.G., Carpenter, E.J., Chen, Y.L., Church, M.J., Dore, J.E., Falcón, L.I., Fernández, A., Foster, R.A., Furuya, K., Gómez, F., Gundersen, K., Hynes, A.M., Karl, D.M., Kitajima, S., Langlois, R.J., LaRoche, J., Letelier, R.M., Marañón, E., McGillicuddy, D.J., Moisander, P.H., Moore, C.M., Mouriño-Carballido, B., Mulholland, M.R., Needoba, J.A., Orcutt, K.M., Poulton, A.J., Rahav, E., Raimbault, P., Rees, A.P., Riemann, L., Shiozaki, T., Subramaniam, A., Tyrrell, T., Turk-Kubo, K.A., Varela, M., Villareal, T.A., Webb, E.A., White, A.E., Wu, J. and Zehr, J.P. (2012) Database of diazotrophs in global ocean: abundance, biomass and nitrogen fixation rates. Earth System Science Data, 4 (1), 47-73. (doi:10.5194/essd-4-47-2012).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Marine N2 fixing microorganisms, termed diazotrophs, are a key functional group in marine pelagic ecosystems. The biological fixation of dinitrogen (N2) to bioavailable nitrogen provides an important new source of nitrogen for pelagic marine ecosystems and influences primary productivity and organic matter export to the deep ocean. As one of a series of efforts to collect biomass and rates specific to different phytoplankton functional groups, we have constructed a database on diazotrophic organisms in the global pelagic upper ocean by compiling about 12 000 direct field measurements of cyanobacterial diazotroph abundances (based on microscopic cell counts or qPCR assays targeting the nifH genes) and N2 fixation rates. Biomass conversion factors are estimated based on cell sizes to convert abundance data to diazotrophic biomass. The database is limited spatially, lacking large regions of the ocean especially in the Indian Ocean. The data are approximately log-normal distributed, and large variances exist in most sub-databases with non-zero values differing 5 to 8 orders of magnitude. Reporting the geometric mean and the range of one geometric standard error below and above the geometric mean, the pelagic N2 fixation rate in the global ocean is estimated to be 62 (52–73) Tg N yr?1 and the pelagic diazotrophic biomass in the global ocean is estimated to be 2.1 (1.4–3.1) Tg C from cell counts and to 89 (43–150) Tg C from nifH-based abundances. Reporting the arithmetic mean and one standard error instead, these three global estimates are 140 ± 9.2 Tg N yr?1, 18 ± 1.8 Tg C and 590 ± 70 Tg C, respectively. Uncertainties related to biomass conversion factors can change the estimate of geometric mean pelagic diazotrophic biomass in the global ocean by about ±70%. It was recently established that the most commonly applied method used to measure N2 fixation has underestimated the true rates. As a result, one can expect that future rate measurements will shift the mean N2 fixation rate upward and may result in significantly higher estimates for the global N2 fixation. The evolving database can nevertheless be used to study spatial and temporal distributions and variations of marine N2 fixation, to validate geochemical estimates and to parameterize and validate biogeochemical models, keeping in mind that future rate measurements may rise in the future. The database is stored in PANGAEA (doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.774851).

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More information

Published date: 31 August 2012
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Biogeochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 388174
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/388174
ISSN: 1866-3516
PURE UUID: ca6627b8-c5aa-4b1d-8a00-818011b014ba
ORCID for C.M. Moore: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9541-6046
ORCID for T. Tyrrell: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1002-1716

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Feb 2016 14:23
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:01

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Contributors

Author: Y.-W. Luo
Author: S.C. Doney
Author: L.A. Anderson
Author: M. Benavides
Author: I. Berman-Frank
Author: A. Bode
Author: S. Bonnet
Author: K.H. Boström
Author: D. Böttjer
Author: D.G. Capone
Author: E.J. Carpenter
Author: Y.L. Chen
Author: M.J. Church
Author: J.E. Dore
Author: L.I. Falcón
Author: A. Fernández
Author: R.A. Foster
Author: K. Furuya
Author: F. Gómez
Author: K. Gundersen
Author: A.M. Hynes
Author: D.M. Karl
Author: S. Kitajima
Author: R.J. Langlois
Author: J. LaRoche
Author: R.M. Letelier
Author: E. Marañón
Author: D.J. McGillicuddy
Author: P.H. Moisander
Author: C.M. Moore ORCID iD
Author: B. Mouriño-Carballido
Author: M.R. Mulholland
Author: J.A. Needoba
Author: K.M. Orcutt
Author: A.J. Poulton
Author: E. Rahav
Author: P. Raimbault
Author: A.P. Rees
Author: L. Riemann
Author: T. Shiozaki
Author: A. Subramaniam
Author: T. Tyrrell ORCID iD
Author: K.A. Turk-Kubo
Author: M. Varela
Author: T.A. Villareal
Author: E.A. Webb
Author: A.E. White
Author: J. Wu
Author: J.P. Zehr

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