Nutrient regimes control phytoplankton ecophysiology in the South Atlantic

Browning, TJ; Bouman, HA; Moore, CM; Schlosser, C; Tarran, GA; Woodward, EMS; Henderson, GM. 2014 Nutrient regimes control phytoplankton ecophysiology in the South Atlantic. Biogeosciences, 11 (2). 463-479. 10.5194/bg-11-463-2014

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/bg-11-463-2014

Abstract/Summary

Fast Repetition Rate fluorometry (FRRf) measurements of phytoplankton photophysiology from an across-basin South Atlantic cruise (as part of the GEOTRACES programme) characterised two dominant ecophysiological regimes which were interpreted on the basis of nutrient limitation. South of the South Subtropical Convergence (SSTC) in the northern sub-Antarctic sector of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) in the Eastern Atlantic Basin, waters are characterised by elevated chlorophyll concentrations, a dominance by larger phytoplankton cells, and low apparent photochemical efficiency (F-v/F-m). Shipboard 24 h iron (Fe) addition incubation experiments confirmed that Fe stress was primarily responsible for the low F-v/F-m, with Fe addition to these waters, either within the artificial bottle additions or naturally occurring downstream enrichment from Gough Island, significantly increasing F-v/F-m values. To the north of the SSTC at the southern boundary of the South Atlantic Gyre, phytoplankton are characterised by high values of F-v/F-m which, coupled with the low macronutrient concentrations and increased presence of picocyanobacteria, are interpreted as conditions of Fe replete, balanced macronutrient-limited growth. Spatial correlation was found between F-v/F-m and Fe: nitrate ratios, supporting the suggestion that the relative supply ratios of these two nutrients can control patterns of limitation and consequently the ecophysiology of phytoplankton in subtropical gyre and ACC regimes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: PHOTOSYNTHETIC ENERGY-CONVERSION; EQUATORIAL PACIFIC-OCEAN; BASIN-SCALE VARIABILITY; IRON LIMITATION; NORTH-ATLANTIC; PHOTOSYSTEM-II; EUKARYOTIC PHYTOPLANKTON; SATELLITE-OBSERVATIONS; MARINE-PHYTOPLANKTON; PRIMARY PRODUCTIVITY
Subjects: Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Cycling in the Sunlit Ocean
Depositing User: Malcolm Woodward
Date made live: 30 May 2014 11:02
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:11
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/5988

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