Zooplankton Gut Passage Mobilizes Lithogenic Iron for Ocean Productivity

Schmidt, K; Schlosser, C; Atkinson, A; Fielding, S; Venables, HJ; Waluda, CM; Achterberg, EP. 2016 Zooplankton Gut Passage Mobilizes Lithogenic Iron for Ocean Productivity. Current Biology, 26 (19). 2667-2673. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.07.058

[img]
Preview
Text
CB2619_Zooplankton_AAM_Schmidt.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (386kB) | Preview
[img]
Preview
Image
Figures_Schmidt.pdf - Supplemental Material
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (484kB) | Preview
[img]
Preview
Text
Supplemental Information, Schmidt.pdf - Supplemental Material
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (628kB) | Preview
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.07.058

Abstract/Summary

Iron is an essential nutrient for phytoplankton, but low concentrations limit primary production and associated atmospheric carbon drawdown in large parts of the world’s oceans [1 and 2]. Lithogenic particles deriving from aeolian dust deposition, glacial runoff, or river discharges can form an important source if the attached iron becomes dissolved and therefore bioavailable [3, 4 and 5]. Acidic digestion by zooplankton is a potential mechanism for iron mobilization [6], but evidence is lacking. Here we show that Antarctic krill sampled near glacial outlets at the island of South Georgia (Southern Ocean) ingest large amounts of lithogenic particles and contain 3-fold higher iron concentrations in their muscle than specimens from offshore, which confirms mineral dissolution in their guts. About 90% of the lithogenic and biogenic iron ingested by krill is passed into their fecal pellets, which contain ∼5-fold higher proportions of labile (reactive) iron than intact diatoms. The mobilized iron can be released in dissolved form directly from krill or via multiple pathways involving microbes, other zooplankton, and krill predators. This can deliver substantial amounts of bioavailable iron and contribute to the fertilization of coastal waters and the ocean beyond. In line with our findings, phytoplankton blooms downstream of South Georgia are more intensive and longer lasting during years with high krill abundance on-shelf. Thus, krill crop phytoplankton but boost new production via their nutrient supply. Understanding and quantifying iron mobilization by zooplankton is essential to predict ocean productivity in a warming climate where lithogenic iron inputs from deserts, glaciers, and rivers are increasing [7, 8, 9 and 10].

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: antarctic krill; iron; phytoplankton bloom; glacial flour; South Georgia; fecal pellets; zooplankton; grazing; digestion; fertilization
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Other (PML)
Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science > Other (SAHFOS) (expired)
Depositing User: Barbara Bultmann
Date made live: 07 Mar 2018 15:13
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 09:57
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/7256

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item