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A size-structured food-web model for the global ocean

A size-structured food-web model for the global ocean
A size-structured food-web model for the global ocean
We present a model of diverse phytoplankton and zooplankton populations embedded in a global ocean circulation model. Physiological and ecological traits of the organisms are constrained by relationships with cell size. The model qualitatively reproduces global distributions of nutrients, biomass, and primary productivity, and captures the power‐law relationship between cell size and numerical density, which has realistic slopes of between −1.3 and −0.8. We use the model to explore the global structure of marine ecosystems, highlighting the importance of both nutrient and grazer controls. The model suggests that zooplankton : phytoplankton (Z : P) biomass ratios may vary from an order of 0.1 in the oligotrophic gyres to an order of 10 in upwelling and high‐latitude regions. Global estimates of the strength of bottom‐up and top‐down controls within plankton size classes suggest that these large‐scale gradients in Z : P ratios are driven by a shift from strong bottom‐up, nutrient limitation in the oligotrophic gyres to the dominance of top‐down, grazing controls in more productive regions.
0024-3590
1877-1891
Ward, B.A.
9063af30-e344-4626-9470-8db7c1543d05
Dutkiewicz, S.
a2255d47-6686-47a1-bdee-5696ffa331c3
Jahn, O.
a9d6758c-c0a0-45d4-ac90-1b6726957fe5
Follows, M. J.
12c723bc-f2f8-43f4-a309-bff6885b9c7c
Ward, B.A.
9063af30-e344-4626-9470-8db7c1543d05
Dutkiewicz, S.
a2255d47-6686-47a1-bdee-5696ffa331c3
Jahn, O.
a9d6758c-c0a0-45d4-ac90-1b6726957fe5
Follows, M. J.
12c723bc-f2f8-43f4-a309-bff6885b9c7c

Ward, B.A., Dutkiewicz, S., Jahn, O. and Follows, M. J. (2012) A size-structured food-web model for the global ocean. Limnology and Oceanography, 57 (6), 1877-1891. (doi:10.4319/lo.2012.57.6.1877).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present a model of diverse phytoplankton and zooplankton populations embedded in a global ocean circulation model. Physiological and ecological traits of the organisms are constrained by relationships with cell size. The model qualitatively reproduces global distributions of nutrients, biomass, and primary productivity, and captures the power‐law relationship between cell size and numerical density, which has realistic slopes of between −1.3 and −0.8. We use the model to explore the global structure of marine ecosystems, highlighting the importance of both nutrient and grazer controls. The model suggests that zooplankton : phytoplankton (Z : P) biomass ratios may vary from an order of 0.1 in the oligotrophic gyres to an order of 10 in upwelling and high‐latitude regions. Global estimates of the strength of bottom‐up and top‐down controls within plankton size classes suggest that these large‐scale gradients in Z : P ratios are driven by a shift from strong bottom‐up, nutrient limitation in the oligotrophic gyres to the dominance of top‐down, grazing controls in more productive regions.

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Published date: November 2012

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417007
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417007
ISSN: 0024-3590
PURE UUID: 7a5af73a-2c60-436f-97c8-d43d9df5d315

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Date deposited: 17 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 18 Oct 2018 16:30

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