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High plasticity in inorganic carbon uptake by Southern Ocean phytoplankton in response to ambient CO2
Neven, I.A.; Stefels, J.; van Heuven, S.M.A.C.; de Baar, H.J.W.; Elzenga, J.T.M. (2011). High plasticity in inorganic carbon uptake by Southern Ocean phytoplankton in response to ambient CO2. Deep-Sea Res., Part 2, Top. Stud. Oceanogr. 58(25-26): 2636-2646.
In: Deep-Sea Research, Part II. Topical Studies in Oceanography. Pergamon: Oxford. ISSN 0967-0645, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Author keywords
    Carbon sink; CO2 concentrating mechanism; HCO3-; Carbonic anhydrase;Isotope disequilibrium technique; Weddell Sea

Authors  Top 
  • Neven, I.A.
  • Stefels, J.
  • van Heuven, S.M.A.C.
  • de Baar, H.J.W., more
  • Elzenga, J.T.M.

    The fixation of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) by marine phytoplankton provides an important feedback mechanism on concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. As a consequence it is important to determine whether oceanic primary productivity is susceptible to changing atmospheric CO2 levels. Among numerous other factors, the acquisition of DIC by microalgae particularly in the polar seas is projected to have a significant effect on future phytoplanktonic production and hence atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Using the isotopic disequilibrium technique the contribution of different carbon species (CO2 and bicarbonate) to the overall DIC uptake and the extent to which external Carbonic Anhydrase (eCA) plays a role in facilitating DIC uptake was estimated. Simultaneous uptake of CO2 and HCO3- was observed in all cases, but the proportions in which different DIC species contributed to carbon assimilation varied considerably between stations. Bicarbonate as well as CO2 could be the major DIC source for local phytoplankton assemblages. There was a positive correlation between the contribution of CO2 to total DIC uptake and ambient concentration of CO2 in seawater suggesting that Southern Ocean microalgae could increase the proportion of CO2 uptake under future high atmospheric CO2 levels. Results will be discussed in view of metabolic costs related to DIC acquisition of Southern Ocean phytoplankton.

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