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Biogeochemical controls of surface ocean phosphate


Martiny, AC and Lomas, MW and Fu, W and Boyd, PW and Chen, YlL and Cutter, GA and Ellwood, MJ and Furuya, K and Hashihama, F and Kanda, J and Karl, DM and Kodama, T and Li, QP and Ma, J and Moutin, T and Woodward, EMS and Moore, JK, Biogeochemical controls of surface ocean phosphate, Science Advances, 5, (8) Article eaax0341. ISSN 2375-2548 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1126/sciadv.aax0341


Surface ocean phosphate is commonly below the standard analytical detection limits, leading to an incomplete picture of the global variation and biogeochemical role of phosphate. A global compilation of phosphate measured using high-sensitivity methods revealed several previously unrecognized low-phosphate areas and clear regional differences. Both observational climatologies and Earth system models (ESMs) systematically overestimated surface phosphate. Furthermore, ESMs misrepresented the relationships between phosphate, phytoplankton biomass, and primary productivity. Atmospheric iron input and nitrogen fixation are known important controls on surface phosphate, but model simulations showed that differences in the iron-to-macronutrient ratio in the vertical nutrient supply and surface lateral transport are additional drivers of phosphate concentrations. Our study demonstrates the importance of accurately quantifying nutrients for understanding the regulation of ocean ecosystems and biogeochemistry now and under future climate conditions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:phosphate, oligotrophic, ocean, phytoplankton
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Chemical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean)
UTAS Author:Boyd, PW (Professor Philip Boyd)
ID Code:150305
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FL160100131)
Web of Science® Times Cited:39
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-06-07
Last Modified:2022-06-08

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