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Title: The upper ocean silicon cycle of the subarctic Pacific during the EXPORTS field campaign
The contribution of diatoms to the production and export of organic carbon is highly modified in high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC) regions due to the decoupling of upper-ocean silicon and carbon cycling caused by low iron. The Si cycle and the role of diatoms in the biological carbon pump was examined at Ocean Station Papa (OSP) in the HNLC region of the northeastern subarctic Pacific during the NASA EX port Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing (EXPORTS) field study. Sampling occurred during the annual minimum in surface silicic acid concentration, [Si(OH)4 ]. Biogenic silica (bSi) concentrations were low being in the tens of nanomolar range despite high [Si(OH) 4 ], ~15 μM. On average the > 5.0 μm particle size fraction dominated Si dynamics accounting for 65% of bSi stocks and 81% of Si uptake compared to the small fraction (0.6 - 5.0 μm). Limitation of Si uptake was detected in the small, but not the large, size fraction. Small diatoms were co-limited with growth rate restricted by Fe and Si uptake restricted by [Si(OH) 4 ], whereas larger diatoms were only growth limited by Fe. About a third of silica production was exported out of the upper 100 m. The contribution of diatoms to carbon export (9 - 13%) was about twice their contribution to primary productivity (3 - 7%). The combination of low silica production, low diatom primary productivity and high bSi export efficiency at OSP was more similar to the dynamics in the subtropical gyres than to other HNLC regions.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1756442
NSF-PAR ID:
10315288
Author(s) / Creator(s):
;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Elementa
Volume:
2022
ISSN:
2656-7814
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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