Phytoplankton plasticity drives large variability in carbon fixation efficiency

Abstract : Phytoplankton C:N stoichiometry is highly flexible due to physiological plasticity, which could lead to high variations in carbon fixation efficiency (carbon consumption relatively to nitrogen). However, the magnitude, as well as the spatial and temporal scales of variability, remain poorly constrained. We used a high resolution biogeochemical model resolving various scales from small to high, spatially and temporally, in order to quantify and better understand this variability. We find that phytoplankton C:N ratio is highly variable at all spatial and temporal scales (5-12 molC/molN), from meso- to regional scale, and is mainly driven by nitrogen supply. Carbon fixation efficiency varies accordingly at all scales (± 30%), with higher values under oligotrophic conditions and lower values under eutrophic conditions. Hence phytoplankton plasticity may act as a buffer by attenuating carbon sequestration variability. Our results have implications for in situ estimations of C:N ratios and for future predictions under high CO2 world.
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Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2014, 41 (24), pp.8994-9000. 〈10.1002/2014GL062249〉
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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01097304
Contributeur : Jean-Luc Gouzé <>
Soumis le : vendredi 19 décembre 2014 - 13:49:09
Dernière modification le : mercredi 19 septembre 2018 - 01:21:57

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Sakina-Dorothée Ayata, Marina Lévy, Olivier Aumont, Laure Resplandy, Alessandro Tagliabue, et al.. Phytoplankton plasticity drives large variability in carbon fixation efficiency. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2014, 41 (24), pp.8994-9000. 〈10.1002/2014GL062249〉. 〈hal-01097304〉

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