Strong responses of Southern Ocean phytoplankton communities to volcanic ash

Browning, TJ, Bouman, HA, Henderson, GM, Mather, TA, Pyle, DM, Schlosser, C, Woodward, EMS and Moore, CM 2014 Strong responses of Southern Ocean phytoplankton communities to volcanic ash. Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (8). 2851-2857.

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Volcanic eruptions have been hypothesized as an iron supply mechanism for phytoplankton blooms; however, little direct evidence of stimulatory responses has been obtained in the field. Here we present the results of twenty-one 1–2 day bottle enrichment experiments from cruises in the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean which conclusively demonstrated a photophysiological and biomass stimulation of phytoplankton communities following supply of basaltic or rhyolitic volcanic ash. Furthermore, experiments in the Southern Ocean demonstrated significant phytoplankton community responses to volcanic ash supply in the absence of responses to addition of dissolved iron alone. At these sites, dissolved manganese concentrations were among the lowest ever measured in seawater, and we therefore suggest that the enhanced response to ash may have been a result of the relief of manganese (co)limitation. Our results imply that volcanic ash deposition events could trigger extensive phytoplankton blooms, potentially capable of significant impacts on regional carbon cycling.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: iron fertilization; volcanic ash; Southern Ocean; colimitation; manganese; phytoplankton
Subjects: Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Cycling in the Sunlit Ocean (expired)
Depositing User: Mrs Julia Crocker
Date made live: 06 Jun 2014 09:24
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2018 15:25

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