Both respiration and photosynthesis determine the scaling of plankton metabolism in the oligotrophic ocean

Serret, P; Robinson, C; Aranguren-Gassis, M; García-Martín, EE; Gist, N; Kitidis, V; Lozano, J; Stephens, JA; Harris, C; Thomas, R. 2015 Both respiration and photosynthesis determine the scaling of plankton metabolism in the oligotrophic ocean. Nature Communications, 6. 6961. 10.1038/ncomms7961

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms7961

Abstract/Summary

Despite its importance to ocean–climate interactions, the metabolic state of the oligotrophic ocean has remained controversial for 415 years. Positions in the debate are that it is either hetero- or autotrophic, which suggests either substantial unaccounted for organic matter inputs, or that all available photosynthesis (P) estimations (including 14C) are biased. Here we show the existence of systematic differences in the metabolic state of the North (heterotrophic) and South (autotrophic) Atlantic oligotrophic gyres, resulting from differences in both P and respiration (R). The oligotrophic ocean is neither auto- nor heterotrophic, but functionally diverse. Our results show that the scaling of plankton metabolism by generalized P:R relationships that has sustained the debate is biased, and indicate that the variability of R, and not only of P, needs to be considered in regional estimations of the ocean’s metabolic state.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Photosynthesis Respiration
Subjects: Earth Sciences
Marine Sciences
Oceanography
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Biochemistry and Observations
Depositing User: Vassilis Kitidis
Date made live: 10 Sep 2015 09:08
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:14
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/6565

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