The role of environmental factors in the long-term evolution of the marine biological pump
"The biological pump—the transfer of atmospheric carbon dioxide to the ocean interior and marine sediments as organic carbon—plays a critical role in regulating the long-term carbon cycle, atmospheric composition and climate. Despite its centrality in the Earth system, the response of the biological pump to biotic innovation and climatic fluctuations through most stages of Earth’s history has been largely conjectural. Here we use a mechanistic model of the biological carbon pump to revisit the factors controlling[...]"
Source: Nature Geoscience
Authors: Mojtaba Fakhraee et al.
Factors controlling plankton community production, export flux, and particulate matter stoichiometry in the coastal upwelling system off Peru
"Eastern boundary upwelling systems (EBUS) are among the most productive marine ecosystems on Earth. The production of organic material is fueled by upwelling of nutrient-rich deep waters and high incident light at the sea surface. However, biotic and abiotic factors can modify surface production and related biogeochemical processes. Determining these factors is important because EBUS are considered hotspots of climate change, and reliable predictions of their future functioning requires understanding of the mechanisms driving the biogeochemical cycles therein. In this field experiment, we used in situ mesocosms as tools to improve our mechanistic understanding of processes controlling organic matter cycling in the coastal Peruvian upwelling system.[...]"
Authors: Lennart Thomas Bach et al.
Imprint of Trace Dissolved Oxygen on Prokaryoplankton Community Structure in an Oxygen Minimum Zone
"The Eastern Tropical North Pacific (ETNP) is a large, persistent, and intensifying oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) that accounts for almost half of the total area of global OMZs. Within the OMZ core (∼350–700 m depth), dissolved oxygen is typically near or below the analytical detection limit of modern sensors (∼10 nM). Steep oxygen gradients above and below the OMZ core lead to vertical structuring of microbial communities that also vary between particle-associated (PA) and free-living (FL) size fractions [...]"
Source: Frontiers in Marine Science
Authors: Luis Medina Faull et al.
The simulated biological response to Southern Ocean eddies via biological rate modification and physical transport
"We examine the structure and drivers of anomalous phytoplankton biomass in Southern Ocean eddies tracked in a global, multi‐year, eddy‐resolving, 3‐D ocean simulation of the Community Earth System Model. We examine how simulated anticyclones and cyclones differentially modify phytoplankton biomass concentrations, growth rates, and physical transport. [...]"
Source: Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Authors: Tyler Rohr et al.
Ocean acidification interacts with variable light to decrease growth but increase particulate organic nitrogen production in a diatom
"Phytoplankton in the upper oceans are exposed to changing light levels due to mixing, diurnal solar cycles and weather conditions. Consequently, effects of ocean acidification are superimposed upon responses to variable light levels. We therefore grew a model diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana under either constant or variable light but at the same daily photon dose, with current low (400 μatm, LC) and future high CO2 (1000 μatm, HC) treatments. [...]"
Source: Marine Environmental Research
Authors: Wei Li et al.
Observing phytoplankton via satellite
"Thanks to a new algorithm, researchers can now use satellite data to determine in which parts of the ocean certain types of phytoplankton are dominant. In addition, they can identify toxic algal blooms and assess the effects of global warming on marine plankton, allowing them to draw conclusions regarding water quality and the ramifications for the fishing industry. [...]"
Source: Science Daily
Small zooplankton rings the alarm for oxygen loss in big oceans
"Hypoxia, a low level of oxygen that limits the physiological functions of animals, is a topic that fascinates many biologists. As climate change progresses, the frequency of hypoxic episodes in aquatic environments is increasing, putting fish species under stress and even reducing populations in some cases. But it is not only fish that suffer the ill effects of hypoxia. [...]"
Source: Journal of Experimental Biology
Author: Yangfan Zhang
Phytoplankton calcifiers control nitrate cycling and the pace of transition in warming icehouse and cooling greenhouse climates
"Phytoplankton calcifiers contribute to global carbon cycling through their dual formation of calcium carbonate and particulate organic carbon (POC). The carbonate might provide an efficient export pathway for the associated POC to the deep ocean, reducing the particles' exposure to biological degradation in the upper ocean and increasing the particle settling rate. Previous work has suggested ballasting of POC by carbonate might increase in a warming climate, in spite of increasing carbonate dissolution rates, because calcifiers benefit from the widespread nutrient limitation arising from stratification. [...]"
Authors: Karin F. Kvale et al.
Planktonic food web structure and trophic transfer efficiency along a productivity gradient in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean
"Oligotrophic and productive areas of the ocean differ in plankton community composition and biomass transfer efficiency. Here, we describe the plankton community along a latitudinal transect in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean. Prochlorococcus dominated the autotrophic community at the surface and mixed layer of oligotrophic stations, replaced by phototrophic picoeukaryotes and Synechococcus in productive waters. [...]"
Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Laia Armengol et al.
Much of the surface ocean will shift in color by end of 21st century
"Climate change is causing significant changes to phytoplankton in the world's oceans, and a new MIT study finds that over the coming decades these changes will affect the ocean's color, intensifying its blue regions and its green ones. Satellites should detect these changes in hue, providing early warning of wide-scale changes to marine ecosystems. [...]"