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Changing carbon-to-nitrogen ratios of organic-matter export under ocean acidification


Taucher, J and Boxhammer, T and Bach, LT and Paul, AJ and Schartau, M and Stange, P and Riebesell, U, Changing carbon-to-nitrogen ratios of organic-matter export under ocean acidification, Nature Climate Change, 11 pp. 52-57. ISSN 1758-678X (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Authors, under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41558-020-00915-5


Ocean acidification (OA) will affect marine biotas from the organism to the ecosystem level. Yet, the consequences for the biological carbon pump and thereby the oceanic sink for atmospheric CO2 are still unclear. Here we show that OA considerably alters the C/N ratio of organic-matter export (C/Nexport), a key factor determining efficiency of the biological pump. By synthesizing sediment-trap data from in situ mesocosm studies in different marine biomes, we find distinct but highly variable impacts of OA on C/Nexport, reaching up to a 20% increase/decrease under partial pressure of CO2effects on a variety of plankton taxa and corresponding shifts in food-web structure. Notably, our findings suggest a pivotal role of heterotrophic processes in controlling the response of C/Nexport to OA, thus contradicting the paradigm of primary producers as the principal driver of biogeochemical responses to ocean change.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ocean acidification, biological pump, stoichiometry
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Ecosystem adaptation to climate change
UTAS Author:Bach, LT (Dr Lennart Bach)
ID Code:141467
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2020-10-22
Last Modified:2021-02-16

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