Enhanced Particulate Organic Carbon Export at Eddy Edges in the Oligotrophic Western North Pacific Ocean.
ABSTRACT: Mesoscale eddies in the subtropical oligotrophic ocean are ubiquitous and play an important role in nutrient supply and oceanic primary production. However, it is still unclear whether these mesoscale eddies can efficiently transfer CO2 from the atmosphere to deep waters via biological pump because of the sampling difficulty due to their transient nature. In 2007, particulate organic carbon (POC) fluxes, measured below the euphotic zone at the edge of warm eddy were 136-194 mg-C m-2 d-1 which was greatly elevated over that (POC flux = 26-35 mg-C m-2 d-1) determined in the nutrient-depleted oligotrophic waters in the Western North Pacific (WNP). In 2010, higher POC fluxes (83-115 mg-C m-2 d-1) were also observed at the boundary of mesoscale eddies in the WNP. The enhanced POC flux at the edge of eddies was mainly attributed to both large denuded diatom frustules and zooplankton fecal pellets based on scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination. The result suggests that mesoscale eddies in the oligotrophic waters in the subtropical WNP can efficiently increase the oceanic carbon export flux and the eddy edge is a crucial conduit in carbon sequestration to deep waters.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC4501708 | BioStudies |