Both respiration and photosynthesis determine the scaling of plankton metabolism in the oligotrophic ocean

Serret, Pablo, Robinson, Carol, Aranguren-Gassis, Maria, Garcia-Martin, E. Elena, Gist, Niki, Kitidis, Vassilis, Lozano, Jose, Stephens, John, Harris, Carolyn and Thomas, Rob (2015) Both respiration and photosynthesis determine the scaling of plankton metabolism in the oligotrophic ocean. Nature Communications, 6. ISSN 2041-1723

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Abstract

Despite its importance to ocean–climate interactions, the metabolic state of the oligotrophic ocean has remained controversial for >15 years. Positions in the debate are that it is either hetero- or autotrophic, which suggests either substantial unaccounted for organic matter inputs, or that all available photosynthesis (P) estimations (including 14C) are biased. Here we show the existence of systematic differences in the metabolic state of the North (heterotrophic) and South (autotrophic) Atlantic oligotrophic gyres, resulting from differences in both P and respiration (R). The oligotrophic ocean is neither auto- nor heterotrophic, but functionally diverse. Our results show that the scaling of plankton metabolism by generalized P:R relationships that has sustained the debate is biased, and indicate that the variability of R, and not only of P, needs to be considered in regional estimations of the ocean’s metabolic state.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2015 22:24
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2020 00:15
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/53294
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7961

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