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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 8, issue 4
Biogeosciences, 8, 933–950, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-8-933-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Interactions between planktonic organisms and the biogeochemical...

Biogeosciences, 8, 933–950, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-8-933-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 15 Apr 2011

Research article | 15 Apr 2011

Accumulation of DOC in Low Phosphate Low Chlorophyll (LPLC) area: is it related to higher production under high N:P ratio?

R. Mauriac, T. Moutin, and M. Baklouti R. Mauriac et al.
  • INSU-CNRS, Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Biogéochimique, UMR 6535, Centre d'Océanologie de Marseille, Aix Marseille Université, France

Abstract. The biogeochemistry of carbon and nutrients (N,P) in the surface layer of the ocean strongly depends on the complex interactions between primary producers (phytoplankton) and remineralizers (heterotrophic bacteria). To understand how these interactions impact the overall DOC dynamics in the surface layer of the Mediterranean Sea, we implemented, using Eco3M (Ecological Mechanistic Modular Modelling tool), a multi-element model with a mechanistic description of primary production. We studied the model steady state results under various nutrient conditions and fixed cell abundances. By doing so, we show how the bottom up control of osmotrophs growth can impact the overall DOC dynamics in the system. Based on our set of parameters, the biogeochemical characteristics displayed by the model appear realistic when compared to literature data for the Mediterranean basin. Differences in DOC dynamics between N and P limited systems in the model, lead to the conclusion that the unusually high N:P ratio of the Mediterranean Sea may favour the uncoupling between growth and carbon production leading to higher DOC accumulation compared to systems with lower N:P ratio.

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