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Particulate barium tracing of significant mesopelagic carbon remineralisation in the North Atlantic
Lemaitre, N.; Planquette, H.; Planchon, F.; Sarthou, G.; Jacquet, S.; García-Ibáñez, M.I.; Gourain, A.; Cheize, M.; Monin, L.; André, L.; Laha, P.; Terryn, H.; Dehairs, F. (2018). Particulate barium tracing of significant mesopelagic carbon remineralisation in the North Atlantic. Biogeosciences 15(7): 2289-2307. https://hdl.handle.net/10.5194/bg-15-2289-2018
In: Gattuso, J.P.; Kesselmeier, J. (Ed.) Biogeosciences. Copernicus Publications: Göttingen. ISSN 1726-4170; e-ISSN 1726-4189, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Lemaitre, N., more
  • Planquette, H.
  • Planchon, F., more
  • Sarthou, G.
  • Jacquet, S.
  • García-Ibáñez, M.I.
  • Gourain, A.
  • Cheize, M.
  • Monin, L., more

Abstract
    The remineralisation of sinking particles by prokaryotic heterotrophic activity is important for controlling oceanic carbon sequestration. Here, we report mesopelagic particulate organic carbon (POC) remineralisation fluxes in the North Atlantic along the GEOTRACES-GA01 section (GEOVIDE cruise; May–June 2014) using the particulate biogenic barium (excess barium; Baxs) proxy. Important mesopelagic (100–1000m) Baxs differences were observed along the transect depending on the intensity of past blooms, the phytoplankton community structure, and the physical forcing, including downwelling. The subpolar province was characterized by the highest mesopelagic Baxs content (up to 727pmolL−1), which was attributed to an intense bloom averaging 6mg chl am−3 between January and June 2014 and by an intense 1500m deep convection in the central Labrador Sea during the winter preceding the sampling. This downwelling could have promoted a deepening of the prokaryotic heterotrophic activity, increasing the Baxs content. In comparison, the temperate province, characterized by the lowest Baxs content (391pmolL−1), was sampled during the bloom period and phytoplankton appear to be dominated by small and calcifying species, such as coccolithophorids. The Baxs content, related to oxygen consumption, was converted into a remineralisation flux using an updated relationship, proposed for the first time in the North Atlantic. The estimated fluxes were of the same order of magnitude as other fluxes obtained using independent methods (moored sediment traps, incubations) in the North Atlantic. Interestingly, in the subpolar and subtropical provinces, mesopelagic POC remineralisation fluxes (up to 13 and 4.6mmol Cm−2d−1, respectively) were equalling and occasionally even exceeding upper-ocean POC export fluxes, deduced using the 234Th method. These results highlight the important impact of the mesopelagic remineralisation on the biological carbon pump of the studied area with a near-zero, deep (>1000m) carbon sequestration efficiency in spring 2014.

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