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The CO2 balance of unproductive aquatic ecosystems
Duarte, C.M.; Agusti, S. (1998). The CO2 balance of unproductive aquatic ecosystems. Science (Wash.) 281(5374): 234-236
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Duarte, C.M., more
  • Agusti, S.

Abstract
    Community respiration (R) rates are scaled as the two-thirds power of the gross primary production (P) rates of aquatic ecosystems, indicating that the role of aquatic biota as carbon dioxide sources or sinks depends on its productivity. Unproductive aquatic ecosystems support a disproportionately higher respiration rate than that of productive aquatic ecosystems, tend to be heterotrophic (R>P), and act as carbon dioxide sources. The average P required for aquatic ecosystems to become autotrophic (P>R) is over an order of magnitude greater for marshes than for the open sea. Although four-fifths of the upper ocean is expected to be net heterotrophic, this carbon demand can be balanced by the excess production over the remaining one-fifth of the ocean.

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