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Attenuation of particulate organic carbon flux in the Scotia Sea, Southern Ocean, is controlled by zooplankton fecal pellets


Cavan, EL and Le Moigne, FAC and Poulton, AJ and Tarling, GA and Ward, P and Daniels, CJ and Fragoso, GM and Sanders, RJ, Attenuation of particulate organic carbon flux in the Scotia Sea, Southern Ocean, is controlled by zooplankton fecal pellets, Geophysical Research Letters, 42, (3) pp. 821-830. ISSN 0094-8276 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 American Geophysical Union.Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1002/2014GL062744


The Southern Ocean (SO) is an important CO2 reservoir, some of which enters via the production, sinking, and remineralization of organic matter. Recent work suggests that the fraction of production that sinks is inversely related to production in the SO, a suggestion that we confirm from 20 stations in the Scotia Sea. The efficiency with which exported material is transferred to depth (transfer efficiency) is believed to be low in high-latitude systems. However, our estimates of transfer efficiency are bimodal, with stations in the seasonal ice zone showing intense losses and others displaying increases in flux with depth. Zooplankton fecal pellets dominated the organic carbon flux and at stations with transfer efficiency >100% fecal pellets were brown, indicative of fresh phytodetritus. We suggest that active flux mediated by zooplankton vertical migration and the presence of sea ice regulates the transfer of organic carbon into the oceans interior in the Southern Ocean.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:particulate organic carbon, faecal pellets, biological pump, Southern Ocean
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Measurement and assessment of freshwater quality (incl. physical and chemical conditions of water)
UTAS Author:Cavan, EL (Dr Emma Cavan)
ID Code:116300
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:74
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-05-04
Last Modified:2017-11-01
Downloads:125 View Download Statistics

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