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Remineralization of particulate organic carbon in an ocean oxygen minimum zone


Cavan, EL and Trimmer, M and Shelley, F and Sanders, R, Remineralization of particulate organic carbon in an ocean oxygen minimum zone, Nature Communications, 8 Article 14847. ISSN 2041-1723 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Author(s). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

DOI: doi:10.1038/ncomms14847


Biological oceanic processes, principally the surface production, sinking and interior remineralization of organic particles, keep atmospheric CO2 lower than if the ocean was abiotic. The remineralization length scale (RLS, the vertical distance over which organic particle flux declines by 63%, affected by particle respiration, fragmentation and sinking rates) controls the size of this effect and is anomalously high in oxygen minimum zones (OMZ). Here we show in the Eastern Tropical North Pacific OMZ 70% of POC remineralization is due to microbial respiration, indicating that the high RLS is the result of lower particle fragmentation by zooplankton, likely due to the almost complete absence of zooplankton particle interactions in OMZ waters. Hence, the sensitivity of zooplankton to ocean oxygen concentrations can have direct implications for atmospheric carbon sequestration. Future expansion of OMZs is likely to increase biological ocean carbon storage and act as a negative feedback on climate change.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:oxygen minimum zone, Pacific, remineralisation
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:116305
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:93
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-05-04
Last Modified:2019-09-19
Downloads:130 View Download Statistics

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