Particle export during a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi in the North-West European continental margin

Schmidt, S, Harlay, J, Borges, AV, Groom, SB, Delille, B, Roevros, N, Christodoulou, S and Chou, L 2013 Particle export during a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi in the North-West European continental margin. Journal of Marine Systems, 109-11. S182-S190.

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Coccolithophores, the dominant pelagic calcifiers in the oceans, play a key role in the marine carbon cycle through calcification, primary production and carbon export, the main drivers of the biological CO2 pump. In May 2002 a cruise was conducted on the outer shelf of the North-West European continental margin, from the north Bay of Biscay to the Celtic Sea (47.0 degrees-50.5 degrees N, 5.0 degrees-11.0 degrees W), an area where massive blooms of Emiliania huxleyi are observed annually. Biogeochemical variables including primary production, calcification, partial pressure of CO2 (pCO(2)), chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), particle load, particulate organic and inorganic carbon (POC, PIC) and Th-234, were measured in surface waters to assess particle dynamic and carbon export in relation to the development of a coccolithophore bloom. We observed a marked northward decrease in Chl-a concentration and calcification rates: the bloom exhibited lower values and may be less well developed in the Goban Spur area. The export fluxes of POC and PIC from the top 80 m, determined using the ratios of POC and PIC to Th-234 of particles, ranged from 81 to 323 mg C m(-2) d(-1) and from 30 to 84 mg C m(-2) d(-1), respectively. The highest fluxes were observed in waters presenting a well-developed coccolithophore bloom, as shown by high reflectance of surface waters. This experiment confirms that the occurrence of coccolithophores promotes efficient export of organic and inorganic carbon on the North-West European margin.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Sea from Space (expired)
Depositing User: Mrs Julia Crocker
Date made live: 27 Feb 2014 17:00
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:10

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