Modelling size-fractionated primary production in the Atlantic Ocean from remote sensing

Brewin, RJW, Tilstone, GH, Jackson, T, Cain, T, Miller, PI, Lange, PK, Misra, A and Airs, RL 2017 Modelling size-fractionated primary production in the Atlantic Ocean from remote sensing. Progress in Oceanography, 158. 130-149.

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Marine primary production influences the transfer of carbon dioxide between the ocean and atmosphere, and the availability of energy for the pelagic food web. Both the rate and the fate of organic carbon from primary production are dependent on phytoplankton size. A key aim of the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programme has been to quantify biological carbon cycling in the Atlantic Ocean and measurements of total primary production have been routinely made on AMT cruises, as well as additional measurements of size-fractionated primary production on some cruises. Measurements of total primary production collected on the AMT have been used to evaluate remote-sensing techniques capable of producing basin-scale estimates of primary production. Though models exist to estimate size-fractionated primary production from satellite data, these have not been well validated in the Atlantic Ocean, and have been parameterised using measurements of phytoplankton pigments rather than direct measurements of phytoplankton size structure. Here, we re-tune a remote-sensing primary production model to estimate production in three size fractions of phytoplankton (<2 μm, 2–10 μm and >10 μm) in the Atlantic Ocean, using measurements of size-fractionated chlorophyll and size-fractionated photosynthesis-irradiance experiments conducted on AMT 22 and 23 using sequential filtration-based methods. The performance of the remote-sensing technique was evaluated using: (i) independent estimates of size-fractionated primary production collected on a number of AMT cruises using 14C on-deck incubation experiments and (ii) Monte Carlo simulations. Considering uncertainty in the satellite inputs and model parameters, we estimate an average model error of between 0.27 and 0.63 for log10-transformed size-fractionated production, with lower errors for the small size class (<2 μm), higher errors for the larger size classes (2–10 μm and >10 μm), and errors generally higher in oligotrophic waters. Application to satellite data in 2007 suggests the contribution of cells <2 μm and >2 μm to total primary production is approximately equal in the Atlantic Ocean.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Biology
Earth Observation - Remote Sensing
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Atlantic Meridional Transect
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > National Centre for Earth Observation
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Earth Observation Science and Applications
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Biochemistry and Observations
Depositing User: Robert Brewin
Date made live: 09 Mar 2018 15:03
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 09:58

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