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Eddies as trigger for diatom productivity in the open-ocean Northeast Atlantic

AutorRomero, Oscar E.; Fischer, Gerhard; Karstensen, J.; Cermeño, Pedro
Fecha de publicaciónsep-2016
CitaciónProgress in Oceanography 147: 38-48 (2016)
ResumenAnticyclonic mesoscale eddies (ACME) have been proposed as a mechanism by which new nutrients are episodically delivered into the euphotic zone, thereby enhancing new production as well as shifting phytoplankton community structure. In this paper, we report on a 34-month sediment trap experiment at the Cape Verde Ocean Observatory (CVOO; ca. 18°N, 24°E; December 2009–October 2012), occasionally influenced by ACME passages. The typically oligotrophic, weakly seasonal particle flux pattern at the CVOO is strongly modified by the appearance of a highly productive and low oxygen ACME. Out of four recorded diatom flux maxima at CVOO, three were associated with the passage of ACMEs. The recorded diatom maxima events support the view that local ACME dynamics promotes upward nutrient supply into the euphotic zone leading to a rapid response of diatoms. This response is clearly reflected by the flux seasonality: between 40% and 60% of the total annual diatom flux at the CVOO site was intercepted in a relatively short time interval (<60 days). A highly diverse diatom community characterized the diatom fluxes throughout. Along with the ACME passages, small species of the genus Nitzschia, and Thalassionema nitzschioides var. parva dominated and delivered a major portion of the opal and organic carbon into deeper waters at site CVOO. Several pelagic, warm-water background species became dominant during intervals with low nutrient availability in the euphotic zone. Results of our interannual time-series suggest that ACMEs impact on total diatom production and the species-specific composition of the assemblage north of the Cave Verde Islands, and can strengthen the biological pump in open-ocean, oligotrophic subtropical regions of the world ocean. Our observations are useful for testing biogeochemical ocean models and will also help in improving the knowledge of processes and mechanisms behind interannual time-series of bulk components and microorganisms in pelagic and hemipelagic ocean areas
Descripción11 pages, 7 figures, 4 tables
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2016.07.011
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2016.07.011
issn: 0079-6611
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