Ecological controls on biogeochemical fluxes in the western Antarctic Peninsula studied with an inverse foodweb model

Ducklow, HW, Doney, SC and Sailley, SF 2015 Ecological controls on biogeochemical fluxes in the western Antarctic Peninsula studied with an inverse foodweb model. ADVANCES IN POLAR SCIENCE, 26 (2). 122-139.

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Sea ice in the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region is both highly variable and rapidly changing. In the Palmer Station region, the ice season duration has decreased by 92 d since 1978. The sea-ice changes affect ocean stratification and freshwater balance and in turn impact every component of the polar marine ecosystem. Long-term observations from the WAP nearshore and offshore regions show a pattern of chlorophyll (Chl) variability with three to five years of negative Chl anomalies interrupted by one or two years of positive anomalies (high and low Chl regimes). Both field observations and results from an inverse food-web model show that these high and low Chl regimes differed significantly from each other, with high primary productivity and net community production (NCP) and other rates associated with the high Chl years and low rates with low Chl years. Gross primary production rates (GPP) averaged 30 mmolC.m-2.d-1 in the low Chl years and 100 mmolC.m-2.d-1 in the high Chl years. Both large and small phytoplankton were more abundant and more productive in high Chl years than in low Chl years. Similarly, krill were more important as grazers in high Chl years, but did not differ from microzooplankton in high or low Chl years. Microzooplankton did not differ between high and low Chl years. Net community production differed significantly between high and low Chl years, but mobilized a similar proportion of GPP in both high and low Chl years. The composition of the NCP was uniform in high and low Chl years. These results mphasize the importance of microbial components in the WAP plankton system and suggest that food webs dominated by small phytoplankton can have pathways that funnel production into NCP, and likely, export.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: ecological controls biogeochemical food-web model
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine System Modelling
Depositing User: Sevrine Sailley
Date made live: 25 Aug 2015 08:42
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:13

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