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What causes the inverse relationship between primary production and export efficiency in the Southern Ocean?


Le Moigne, FAC and Henson, SA and Cavan, E and Georges, C and Pabortsava, K and Acterberg, EP and Ceballos-Romero, E and Zubkov, M and Sanders, RJ, What causes the inverse relationship between primary production and export efficiency in the Southern Ocean?, Geophysical Research Letters, 43, (9) pp. 4457-4466. ISSN 0094-8276 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

2016 Crown copyright.Geophysical Research Letters Copyright 2016 American Geophysical Union. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1002/2016GL068480


The ocean contributes to regulating atmospheric CO2 levels, partly via variability in the fraction of primary production (PP) which is exported out of the surface layer (i.e., the e ratio). Southern Ocean studies have found that contrary to global-scale analyses, an inverse relationship exists between e ratio and PP. This relationship remains unexplained, with potential hypotheses being (i) large export of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in high PP areas, (ii) strong surface microbial recycling in high PP regions, and/or (iii) grazing-mediated export that varies inversely with PP. We find that the export of DOC has a limited influence in setting the negative e ratio/PP relationship. However, we observed that at sites with low PP and high e ratios, zooplankton-mediated export is large and surface microbial abundance low suggesting that both are important drivers of the magnitude of the e ratio in the Southern Ocean.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:thorium, export production, 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, E (Dr Emma Cavan)
ID Code:116301
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:46
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-05-04
Last Modified:2017-11-01
Downloads:145 View Download Statistics

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