Atmospheric deposition of nutrients to the Atlantic Ocean

Baker, A. R. ORCID:, Kelly, S. D., Biswas, K. F., Witt, M. and Jickells, T. D. (2003) Atmospheric deposition of nutrients to the Atlantic Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 30 (24). ISSN 0094-8276

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The role of atmospheric deposition of iron, nitrogen and phosphorus in supplying nutrients to marine systems has been described, individually, in previous works. Here we examine atmospheric dry deposition of all these nutrients simultaneously, using samples collected during two meridional transects of the Atlantic Ocean. We find that, in line with previous work, desert dust supplies excess iron to the water column. However, primary production promoted by aerosol nitrogen can be sufficient to consume all of the soluble aerosol iron input in some situations. Aerosol N:P is universally very high, so that aerosol is always deficient in P relative to phytoplankton requirements. Nitrogen fixation stimulated by any excess atmospheric iron supply and phytoplankton utilisation of atmospheric nutrient inputs will therefore tend to drive the ecosystem towards P limitation. This emphasises the need to study the biogeochemical impact of atmospheric nutrient deposition in an integrated manner.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgments: The authors thank the Masters and crews of RV Polarstern and RRS James Clark Ross. This work was funded by the EU programme IRONAGES (EVK2-1999-00031). Additional support for the JCR cruise was provided by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NER/B/2000/00116) and studentships to M. W. (University of East Anglia, School of Environmental Sciences) and K. F. B. (Association of Commonwealth Universities).
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Depositing User: Rosie Cullington
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2011 14:26
Last Modified: 16 May 2023 09:30
DOI: 10.1029/2003GL018518

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