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The influence of nitrogen inputs on biomass and trophic structure of ocean plankton: a study using biomass and stable isotope size-spectra

The influence of nitrogen inputs on biomass and trophic structure of ocean plankton: a study using biomass and stable isotope size-spectra
The influence of nitrogen inputs on biomass and trophic structure of ocean plankton: a study using biomass and stable isotope size-spectra
Large scale patterns in planktonic food web structure were studied by applying continuous size-scaled models of biomass and δ15N to plankton samples, collected at 145 stations during the Malaspina-2010 Expedition across three ocean basins and including major biomes. Carbon biomass and δ15N were determined in size-fractionated samples (40 to 5000 μm) collected by vertical hauls (0-200 m). Biomass-normalized size-spectra were constructed to summarize food web structure and spatial patterns in spectral parameters were analyzed using geographically-weighted regression analysis. Except in the northwestern Atlantic, size-spectra showed low variability, reflecting a homogeneity in nitrogen sources and food web structure for the central oceans. Estimated predator-to-prey mass ratios 20% (Trades and Westerlies biomes) suggested that oceanic plankton food webs may support a larger number of trophic levels than current estimates based on high efficiency values. The largest changes in spectral parameters and nitrogen sources were related to inputs of atmospheric nitrogen, either from diazotrophic organisms or dust deposition. These results suggest geographic homogeneity in the net transfer of nitrogen up the food web.
biomass, food web, ocean, plankton, size spectrum, stable isotopes, δ15N
0142-7873
1163-1177
Mompeán, Carmen
335cf620-042a-492e-a68b-58d8323a48ec
Bode, Antonio
d8924efc-411f-4bd5-a9dc-91e2d91a89af
Latasa, Mikel
e8f88d8c-49e2-4e11-9ec1-a5f9b173a2fd
Fernández-Castro, Bieito
8017e93c-d5ee-4bba-b443-9c72ca512d61
Mouriño-Carballido, Beatriz
1bfd941d-9ec6-473f-94bd-bb6faac56fa5
Irigoien, Xabier
82dafcb7-8ca9-49f5-906c-36da504d50ed
Mompeán, Carmen
335cf620-042a-492e-a68b-58d8323a48ec
Bode, Antonio
d8924efc-411f-4bd5-a9dc-91e2d91a89af
Latasa, Mikel
e8f88d8c-49e2-4e11-9ec1-a5f9b173a2fd
Fernández-Castro, Bieito
8017e93c-d5ee-4bba-b443-9c72ca512d61
Mouriño-Carballido, Beatriz
1bfd941d-9ec6-473f-94bd-bb6faac56fa5
Irigoien, Xabier
82dafcb7-8ca9-49f5-906c-36da504d50ed

Mompeán, Carmen, Bode, Antonio, Latasa, Mikel, Fernández-Castro, Bieito, Mouriño-Carballido, Beatriz and Irigoien, Xabier (2016) The influence of nitrogen inputs on biomass and trophic structure of ocean plankton: a study using biomass and stable isotope size-spectra. Journal of Plankton Research, 38 (5), 1163-1177. (doi:10.1093/plankt/fbw052).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Large scale patterns in planktonic food web structure were studied by applying continuous size-scaled models of biomass and δ15N to plankton samples, collected at 145 stations during the Malaspina-2010 Expedition across three ocean basins and including major biomes. Carbon biomass and δ15N were determined in size-fractionated samples (40 to 5000 μm) collected by vertical hauls (0-200 m). Biomass-normalized size-spectra were constructed to summarize food web structure and spatial patterns in spectral parameters were analyzed using geographically-weighted regression analysis. Except in the northwestern Atlantic, size-spectra showed low variability, reflecting a homogeneity in nitrogen sources and food web structure for the central oceans. Estimated predator-to-prey mass ratios 20% (Trades and Westerlies biomes) suggested that oceanic plankton food webs may support a larger number of trophic levels than current estimates based on high efficiency values. The largest changes in spectral parameters and nitrogen sources were related to inputs of atmospheric nitrogen, either from diazotrophic organisms or dust deposition. These results suggest geographic homogeneity in the net transfer of nitrogen up the food web.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 14 June 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 August 2016
Published date: 1 September 2016
Keywords: biomass, food web, ocean, plankton, size spectrum, stable isotopes, δ15N

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 453895
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/453895
ISSN: 0142-7873
PURE UUID: 057d51c0-fe69-4af7-94ca-86f6ed4c2108
ORCID for Bieito Fernández-Castro: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7797-854X

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Date deposited: 25 Jan 2022 17:45
Last modified: 26 Jan 2022 03:03

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Contributors

Author: Carmen Mompeán
Author: Antonio Bode
Author: Mikel Latasa
Author: Beatriz Mouriño-Carballido
Author: Xabier Irigoien

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