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Planktonic community structure and carbon cycling in the Arabian Sea as a result of monsoonal forcing: the application of a generic model
Blackford, J.C.; Burkill, P.H. (2002). Planktonic community structure and carbon cycling in the Arabian Sea as a result of monsoonal forcing: the application of a generic model. J. Mar. Syst. 36(3-4): 239-267.
In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Carbon cycle; Community composition; Modelling; Monsoon reversal; Phytoplankton; Primary production; Water column; ISW, Arabian Sea [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Blackford, J.C.
  • Burkill, P.H.

    The Arabian Sea exhibits a complex pattern of biogeochemical and ecological dynamics, which vary both seasonally and spatially. These dynamics have been studied using a one-dimensional vertical hydrodynamic model coupled to a complex ecosystem model, simulating the annual cycle at three contrasting stations. These stations are characterised by seasonally upwelling, mixed-layer-deepening and a-seasonal oligotrophic conditions, respectively, and coincide with extensively measured stations on the two JGOFS ARABESQUE cruises in 1994. The model reproduces many spatial and temporal trends in production, biomass, physical and chemical properties, both qualitatively and quantitatively and so gives insight into the main mechanisms responsible for the biogeochemical and ecological complexity. Monsoonal systems are typified by classical food web dynamics, whilst intermonsoonal and oligotrophic systems are dominated by the microbial loop. The ecosystem model (ERSEM), developed for temperate regions, is found to be applicable to the Arabian Sea system with little reparameterisation. Differences in in-situ physical forcing are sufficient to recreate contrasting eutrophic and oligotrophic systems, although the lack of lateral terms are probably the greatest source of error in the model. Physics, nutrients, light and grazing are all shown to play a role in controlling production and community structure. Small-celled phytoplanktons are predicted to be dominant and sub-surface chlorophyll maxima are robust centers of production during intermonsoon periods. Analysis of carbon fluxes indicate that physically driven outgassing of CO2 predominates in monsoonal upwelling systems but ecological activity may significantly moderate CO2 outgassing in the Arabian Sea interior.

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