The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Nutrient co-limitation at the boundary of an oceanic gyre

Nutrient co-limitation at the boundary of an oceanic gyre
Nutrient co-limitation at the boundary of an oceanic gyre
Nutrient limitation of oceanic primary production exerts a fundamental control on marine food webs and the flux of carbon into the deep ocean1. The extensive boundaries of the oligotrophic sub-tropical gyres collectively define the most extreme transition in ocean productivity, but little is known about nutrient limitation in these zones1, 2, 3, 4. Here we present the results of full-factorial nutrient amendment experiments conducted at the eastern boundary of the South Atlantic gyre. We find extensive regions in which the addition of nitrogen or iron individually resulted in no significant phytoplankton growth over 48 hours. However, the addition of both nitrogen and iron increased concentrations of chlorophyll a by up to approximately 40-fold, led to diatom proliferation, and reduced community diversity. Once nitrogen–iron co-limitation had been alleviated, the addition of cobalt or cobalt-containing vitamin B12 could further enhance chlorophyll a yields by up to threefold. Our results suggest that nitrogen–iron co-limitation is pervasive in the ocean, with other micronutrients also approaching co-deficiency. Such multi-nutrient limitations potentially increase phytoplankton community diversity.
0028-0836
242-246
Browning, Thomas
544f6762-d3f7-4f44-a6b8-aadee8e98854
Achterberg, Eric
685ce961-8c45-4503-9f03-50f6561202b9
Rapp, Insa
acd4e6c1-eeb1-44d8-873c-50520280ed09
Engel, Anja
f0a8db1d-c2b1-43e5-969a-e7f5b29cdf88
Bertrand, Erin M.
46acd436-0335-4e78-a722-1459e3d8d35d
Tagliabue, Alessandro
23ecb1dd-3cf4-46eb-b059-637a04f2439b
Moore, C. Mark
7ec80b7b-bedc-4dd5-8924-0f5d01927b12
Browning, Thomas
544f6762-d3f7-4f44-a6b8-aadee8e98854
Achterberg, Eric
685ce961-8c45-4503-9f03-50f6561202b9
Rapp, Insa
acd4e6c1-eeb1-44d8-873c-50520280ed09
Engel, Anja
f0a8db1d-c2b1-43e5-969a-e7f5b29cdf88
Bertrand, Erin M.
46acd436-0335-4e78-a722-1459e3d8d35d
Tagliabue, Alessandro
23ecb1dd-3cf4-46eb-b059-637a04f2439b
Moore, C. Mark
7ec80b7b-bedc-4dd5-8924-0f5d01927b12

Browning, Thomas, Achterberg, Eric, Rapp, Insa, Engel, Anja, Bertrand, Erin M., Tagliabue, Alessandro and Moore, C. Mark (2017) Nutrient co-limitation at the boundary of an oceanic gyre. Nature, 551 (7679), 242-246. (doi:10.1038/nature24063).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Nutrient limitation of oceanic primary production exerts a fundamental control on marine food webs and the flux of carbon into the deep ocean1. The extensive boundaries of the oligotrophic sub-tropical gyres collectively define the most extreme transition in ocean productivity, but little is known about nutrient limitation in these zones1, 2, 3, 4. Here we present the results of full-factorial nutrient amendment experiments conducted at the eastern boundary of the South Atlantic gyre. We find extensive regions in which the addition of nitrogen or iron individually resulted in no significant phytoplankton growth over 48 hours. However, the addition of both nitrogen and iron increased concentrations of chlorophyll a by up to approximately 40-fold, led to diatom proliferation, and reduced community diversity. Once nitrogen–iron co-limitation had been alleviated, the addition of cobalt or cobalt-containing vitamin B12 could further enhance chlorophyll a yields by up to threefold. Our results suggest that nitrogen–iron co-limitation is pervasive in the ocean, with other micronutrients also approaching co-deficiency. Such multi-nutrient limitations potentially increase phytoplankton community diversity.

Text
Browning_merged - Accepted Manuscript
Download (6MB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 5 September 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 1 November 2017
Published date: 9 November 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 415356
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/415356
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 20d9e4f5-c473-4de8-a84c-b4824e9b3876

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Nov 2017 17:31
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 05:35

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Thomas Browning
Author: Eric Achterberg
Author: Insa Rapp
Author: Anja Engel
Author: Erin M. Bertrand
Author: Alessandro Tagliabue
Author: C. Mark Moore

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×