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Title: Impact of a warm anomaly in the Pacific Arctic region derived from time-series export fluxes
Unusually warm conditions recently observed in the Pacific Arctic region included a dramatic loss of sea ice cover and an enhanced inflow of warmer Pacific-derived waters. Moored sediment traps deployed at three biological hotspots of the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) during this anomalously warm period collected sinking particles nearly continuously from June 2017 to July 2019 in the northern Bering Sea (DBO2) and in the southern Chukchi Sea (DBO3), and from August 2018 to July 2019 in the northern Chukchi Sea (DBO4). Fluxes of living algal cells, chlorophyll a (chl a ), total particulate matter (TPM), particulate organic carbon (POC), and zooplankton fecal pellets, along with zooplankton and meroplankton collected in the traps, were used to evaluate spatial and temporal variations in the development and composition of the phytoplankton and zooplankton communities in relation to sea ice cover and water temperature. The unprecedented sea ice loss of 2018 in the northern Bering Sea led to the export of a large bloom dominated by the exclusively pelagic diatoms Chaetoceros spp. at DBO2. Despite this intense bloom, early sea ice breakup resulted in shorter periods of enhanced chl a and diatom fluxes at all DBO sites, suggesting a weaker biological pump under more » reduced ice cover in the Pacific Arctic region, while the coincident increase or decrease in TPM and POC fluxes likely reflected variations in resuspension events. Meanwhile, the highest transport of warm Pacific waters during 2017–2018 led to a dominance of the small copepods Pseudocalanus at all sites. Whereas the export of ice-associated diatoms during 2019 suggested a return to more typical conditions in the northern Bering Sea, the impact on copepods persisted under the continuously enhanced transport of warm Pacific waters. Regardless, the biological pump remained strong on the shallow Pacific Arctic shelves. « less
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Incarbona, Alessandro
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National Science Foundation
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