Assessing the variability in the relationship between the particulate backscattering coefficient and the chlorophyll a concentration from a global Biogeochemical-Argo database

Barbieux, M; Uitz, J; Bricaud, A; Organelli, E; Poteau, A; Schmechtig, C; Gentili, B; Penkerc'h, C; Leymarie, E; D'Ortenzio, F; Claustre, H. 2018 Assessing the variability in the relationship between the particulate backscattering coefficient and the chlorophyll a concentration from a global Biogeochemical-Argo database. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 10.1002/2017JC013030

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Abstract/Summary

Characterizing phytoplankton distribution and dynamics in the world's open oceans requires in situ observations over a broad range of space and time scales. In addition to temperature/salinity measurements, Biogeochemical-Argo (BGC-Argo) profiling floats are capable of autonomously observing at high frequency bio-optical properties such as the chlorophyll fluorescence, a proxy of the chlorophyll a concentration (Chla), the particulate backscattering coefficient (bbp), a proxy of the stock of particulate organic carbon, and the light available for photosynthesis. We analyzed an unprecedented BGC-Argo database of more than 8,500 multi-variable profiles collected in various oceanic conditions, from subpolar waters to subtropical gyres. Our objective is to refine previously established Chla vs bbp relationships and gain insights into the sources of vertical, seasonal and regional variability in this relationship. Despite some nuances in the relationship considering one or another water column layer or region, a general covariation occurs at a global scale. We distinguish two main contrasted situations: (1) concomitant changes in Chla and bbp that correspond to actual variations in phytoplankton biomass, e.g. in subpolar regimes; (2) a decoupling between the two variables attributed to photoacclimation or changes in the relative abundance of non-algal particles, e.g. in subtropical regimes. The variability in the bbp:Chla ratio in the surface layer appears to be essentially influenced by the type of particles and photoacclimation processes. The dense BGC-Argo database helps identifying the spatial and temporal scales at which this ratio is predominantly driven by one or the other of these two factors.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright (2018) American Geophysical Union.
Additional Keywords: Biogeochemical Argo floats, global ocean, particulate optical backscattering, phytoplankton
Subjects: Biology
Earth Sciences
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Oceanography
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Earth Observation Science and Applications
Depositing User: Dr E Organelli
Date made live: 20 Mar 2018 15:31
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2018 15:31
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/7747

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