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  1. Abstract

    Dissolved iron (dFe) plays an important role in regulating marine productivity. In high nutrient, low chlorophyll regions (>33% of the global ocean), iron is the primary growth limiting nutrient, and elsewhere iron can regulate nitrogen fixation by diazotrophs. The link between iron availability and carbon export is strongly dependent on the phytoplankton iron quotas or cellular Fe:C ratios. This ratio varies by more than an order of magnitude in the open ocean and is positively correlated with ambient dFe concentrations in field observations. Representing Fe:C ratios within models is necessary to investigate how ocean carbon cycling will interact with perturbations to iron cycling in a changing climate. The Community Earth System Model ocean component was modified to simulate dynamic, group‐specific, phytoplankton Fe:C that varies as a function of ambient iron concentration. The simulated Fe:C ratios improve the representation of the spatial trends in the observed Fe:C ratios. The acclimation of phytoplankton Fe:C ratios dampens the biogeochemical response to varying atmospheric deposition of soluble iron, compared to a fixed Fe:C ratio. However, varying atmospheric soluble iron supply has first order impacts on global carbon and nitrogen fluxes and on nutrient limitation spatial patterns. Our results suggest that pyrogenic Fe is a significant dFe source that rivals mineral dust inputs in some regions. Changes in dust flux and iron combustion sources (anthropogenic and wildfires) will modify atmospheric Fe inputs in the future. Accounting for dynamic phytoplankton iron quotas is critical for understanding ocean biogeochemistry and projecting its response to variations in atmospheric deposition.

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  2. Abstract

    Distinctively‐light isotopic signatures associated with Fe released from anthropogenic activity have been used to trace basin‐scale impacts. However, this approach is complicated by the way Fe cycle processes modulate oceanic dissolved Fe (dFe) signatures (δ56Fediss) post deposition. Here we include dust, wildfire, and anthropogenic aerosol Fe deposition in a global ocean biogeochemical model with active Fe isotope cycling, to quantify how anthropogenic Fe impacts surface ocean dFe and δ56Fediss. Using the North Pacific as a natural laboratory, the response of dFe, δ56Fediss, and primary productivity are spatially and seasonally variable and do not simply follow the footprint of atmospheric deposition. Instead, the effect of anthropogenic Fe is regulated by the biogeochemical regime, specifically the degree of Fe limitation and rates of primary production. Overall, we find that while δ56Fedissdoes trace anthropogenic input, the response is muted by fractionation during phytoplankton uptake, but amplified by other isotopically‐light Fe sources.

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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024