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Biogeochemical cycle in a coccolithophorid bloom
Suykens, K.; Delille, B.; Borges, A.V. (2007). Biogeochemical cycle in a coccolithophorid bloom, in: Mees, J. et al. (Ed.) VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium 2 March 2007: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 39: pp. 58
In: Mees, J.; Seys, J. (Ed.) (2007). VLIZ Young Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium 2 March 2007: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 39. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. IX, 82 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

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Document type: Summary

    Algal blooms
    Cycles > Chemical cycles > Geochemical cycle > Biogeochemical cycle
    Emiliania huxleyi (Lohmann) W.W.Hay & H.P.Mohler, 1967 [WoRMS]

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    The biogeochemical properties of an extensive bloom of the coccolithophore, Emiliania huxleyi, at the shelf break in the northern Gulf of Biscay was investigated in June 2006. Total Alkalinity (TA) values in the water column showed strong non-conservative behaviour indicative of the impact of calcification, with the highest TA anomalies (up to 26μ in the high reflectance coccolith patch. Partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) values ranged from 250 to 338μatm and the area was found to act as a sink for atmospheric CO2.Overall, pCO2@13°C (pCO2 normalized at a constant temperature of 13°C) in the water column was negatively related to TA anomalies in agreement with an overall production of CO2 related to calcification. Hence, the calcifying phase of the E. huxleyi bloom decreased the sink of atmospheric pCO2, but did not reverse the direction of the flux. Rates of pelagic respiration up to 5.5mmol O2.m-3.d-1 suggested a close coupling between primary production and respiration and/or between organic carbon content and respiration. Benthic respiration rates were quite low and varied between 2 and 9mmol O2.m-3.d-1, in agreement with the fact that the study area consists of sandy sediments with low organic matter content. Benthic respiration was well correlated to the chlorophyll a content of the top 1cm of the sediment cores. Evidence was found for dissolution of CaCO3 due to the acidification of superficial sediments in relation to the production of CO2 and the oxidation of H2S in the oxic layers.

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