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The oligotrophic ocean is heterotrophic
Duarte, C.M.; Regaudie-de-Gioux, A.; Arrieta, J.M.; Delgado-Huertas, A.; Agusti, S. (2013). The oligotrophic ocean is heterotrophic. Ann. Rev. Mar. Sci. 5: 551-569.
In: Annual Review of Marine Science. Annual Reviews: Palo Alto, Calif. ISSN 1941-1405, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    production, respiration, metabolism, plankton, carbon inputs

Authors  Top 
  • Duarte, C.M., more
  • Regaudie-de-Gioux, A.
  • Arrieta, J.M., more
  • Delgado-Huertas, A.
  • Agusti, S.

    Incubation (in vitro) and incubation-free (in situ) methods, each with their own advantages and limitations, have been used to derive estimates of net community metabolism in the oligotrophic subtropical gyres of the open ocean. The hypothesis that heterotrophic communities are prevalent in most oligotrophic regions is consistent with the available evidence and supported by scaling relationships showing that heterotrophic communities prevail in areas of low gross primary production, low chlorophyll a, and warm water, conditions found in the oligotrophic ocean. Heterotrophic metabolism can prevail where heterotrophic activity is subsidized by organic carbon inputs from the continental shelf or the atmosphere and from nonphotosynthetic autotrophic and mixotrophic metabolic pathways. The growth of the oli-gotrophic regions is likely to be tilting the metabolic balance of the ocean toward a greater prevalence of heterotrophic communities.

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