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Quantifying the time lag between organic matter production and export in the surface ocean: implications for estimates of export efficiency

Citation

Stange, P and Bach, LT and Le Moigne, FAC and Taucher, J and Boxhammer, T and Riebesell, U, Quantifying the time lag between organic matter production and export in the surface ocean: implications for estimates of export efficiency, Geophysical Research Letters, 44, (1) pp. 268-276. ISSN 0094-8276 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1002/2016GL070875

Abstract

The ocean's potential to export carbon to depth partly depends on the fraction of primary production (PP) sinking out of the euphotic zone (i.e., the e‐ratio). Measurements of PP and export flux are often performed simultaneously in the field, although there is a temporal delay between those parameters. Thus, resulting e‐ratio estimates often incorrectly assume an instantaneous downward export of PP to export flux. Evaluating results from four mesocosm studies, we find that peaks in organic matter sedimentation lag chlorophyll a peaks by 2 to 15 days. We discuss the implications of these time lags (TLs) for current e‐ratio estimates and evaluate potential controls of TL. Our analysis reveals a strong correlation between TL and the duration of chlorophyll a buildup, indicating a dependency of TL on plankton food web dynamics. This study is one step further toward time‐corrected e‐ratio estimates.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biological carbon pump, export
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological Oceanography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
UTAS Author:Bach, LT (Dr Lennart Bach)
ID Code:133659
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2019-07-05
Last Modified:2019-07-09
Downloads:0

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