Elevated iron to nitrogen recycling by mesozooplankton in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean

Sari L. C. Giering, Sebastian Steigenberger, Eric P. Achterberg, Richard Sanders, Daniel J. Mayor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Low dissolved iron (DFe) concentrations limit primary production in most high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC) regions. Increased recycling of iron (Fe) relative to nitrogen (N) by zooplankton may help to sustain phytoplankton production in these conditions. We concurrently determined rates of DFe and ammonium (NH4) recycling by natural mesozooplankton communities in HNLC conditions of the Northeast Atlantic. NH4 excretion remained constant and ranged between 14.2-54.1nmol NH4 mg dry weight h-1. Fe recycling ranged between 6-138 pmol DFe mg dry weight h-1 during the first hour and decreased thereafter, reflecting the transition from the loss of phytoplankton-derived Fe to basal DFe excretion. Mesozooplankton-driven nutrient recycling was estimated to support 6-59% and <1-13% of the respective phytoplankton requirements for DFe and N; DFe:N regeneration ratios were 5-26 times larger than those required by phytoplankton. Our data suggest that Fe recycling by grazing organisms has the potential to reduce the intensity of HNLC conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL12608
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume39
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

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Atlantic Ocean
recycling
phytoplankton
nutrients
iron
nitrogen
chlorophylls
ocean
excretion
chlorophyll
nutrient
zooplankton
grazing
regeneration
organisms
primary production
ammonium
requirements

Keywords

  • HNLC
  • iron and nitrogen recycling
  • stoichiometry
  • zooplankton

Cite this

Giering, S. L. C., Steigenberger, S., Achterberg, E. P., Sanders, R., & Mayor, D. J. (2012). Elevated iron to nitrogen recycling by mesozooplankton in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 39(12), [L12608]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2012GL051776

Elevated iron to nitrogen recycling by mesozooplankton in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. / Giering, Sari L. C.; Steigenberger, Sebastian ; Achterberg, Eric P.; Sanders, Richard; Mayor, Daniel J.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 39, No. 12, L12608, 06.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Giering, SLC, Steigenberger, S, Achterberg, EP, Sanders, R & Mayor, DJ 2012, 'Elevated iron to nitrogen recycling by mesozooplankton in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean' Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 39, no. 12, L12608. https://doi.org/10.1029/2012GL051776
Giering, Sari L. C. ; Steigenberger, Sebastian ; Achterberg, Eric P. ; Sanders, Richard ; Mayor, Daniel J. / Elevated iron to nitrogen recycling by mesozooplankton in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2012 ; Vol. 39, No. 12.
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AU - Mayor, Daniel J.

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