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Effect of natural iron fertilization on carbon sequestration in the Southern Ocean

Citation

Blain, S and Queguiner, B and Armand, L and Belviso, S and Bombled, B and Bopp, L and Bowie, AR and Brunet, C and Brussaard, C and Carlotti, F and Christaki, U and Corbiere, A and Durand, I and Ebersbach, F and Fuda, JL and Garcia, N and Gerringa, L and Griffiths, B and Guigue, C and Guillerm, C and Jacquet, S and Jeandel, C and Laan, P and Lefevre, D and Monaco, CL and Malits, A and Mosseri, J and Obernosterer, I and Park, YH and Picheral, M and Pondaven, P and Remenyi, TA and Sandroni, V and Sarthou, G and Savoye, N and Scouarnec, L and Souhaut, M and Thuiller, D and Timmermans, K and Trull, T and Uitz, J and van Beek, P and Veldhuis, M and Vincent, D and Viollier, E and Vong, L and Wagener, T, Effect of natural iron fertilization on carbon sequestration in the Southern Ocean, Nature, 446, (7139) pp. 1070-1075. ISSN 0028-0836 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1038/nature05700

Abstract

The availability of iron limits primary productivity and the associated uptake of carbon over large areas of the ocean. Iron thus plays an important role in the carbon cycle, and changes in its supply to the surface ocean may have had a significant effect on atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over glacial-interglacial cycles. To date, the role of iron in carbon cycling has largely been assessed using short-term iron-addition experiments. It is difficult, however, to reliably assess the magnitude of carbon export to the ocean interior using such methods, and the short observational periods preclude extrapolation of the results to longer timescales. Here we report observations of a phytoplankton bloom induced by natural iron fertilization-an approach that offers the opportunity to overcome some of the limitations of short-term experiments. We found that a large phytoplankton bloom over the Kerguelen plateau in the Southern Ocean was sustained by the supply of iron and major nutrients to surface waters from iron-rich deep water below. The efficiency of fertilization, defined as the ratio of the carbon export to the amount of iron supplied, was at least ten times higher than previous estimates from short-term blooms induced by iron-addition experiments. This result sheds new light on the effect of long-term fertilization by iron and macronutrients on carbon sequestration, suggesting that changes in iron supply from below-as invoked in some palaeoclimatic and future climate change scenarios-may have a more significant effect on atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations than previously thought. ©2007 Nature Publishing Group.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Chemical Oceanography
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water
Objective Field:Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Marine Environments
Author:Bowie, AR (Associate Professor Andrew Bowie)
Author:Ebersbach, F (Miss Friederike Ebersbach)
Author:Remenyi, TA (Dr Tom Remenyi)
Author:Trull, T (Professor Thomas Trull)
ID Code:47610
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:401
Deposited By:IASOS
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2011-11-22
Downloads:0

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