Sinking of Gelatinous Zooplankton Biomass Increases Deep Carbon Transfer Efficiency Globally.

Lebrato, Mario, Pahlow, Markus, Frost, Jessica R., Küter, Marie, Jesus Mendes, Pedro, Molinero, Juan Carlos and Oschlies, Andreas (2019) Sinking of Gelatinous Zooplankton Biomass Increases Deep Carbon Transfer Efficiency Globally. Open Access Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 33 (12). pp. 1764-1783. DOI 10.1029/2019GB006265.

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Abstract

Gelatinous zooplankton (Cnidaria, Ctenophora, and Urochordata, namely, Thaliacea) are ubiquitous members of plankton communities linking primary production to higher trophic levels and the deep ocean by serving as food and transferring “jelly‐carbon” (jelly‐C) upon bloom collapse. Global biomass within the upper 200 m reaches 0.038 Pg C, which, with a 2–12 months life span, serves as the lower limit for annual jelly‐C production. Using over 90,000 data points from 1934 to 2011 from the Jellyfish Database Initiative as an indication of global biomass (JeDI: http://jedi.nceas.ucsb.edu, http://www.bco‐dmo.org/dataset/526852), upper ocean jelly‐C biomass and production estimates, organism vertical migration, jelly‐C sinking rates, and water column temperature profiles from GLODAPv2, we quantitatively estimate jelly‐C transfer efficiency based on Longhurst Provinces. From the upper 200 m production estimate of 0.038 Pg C year−1, 59–72% reaches 500 m, 46–54% reaches 1,000 m, 43–48% reaches 2,000 m, 32–40% reaches 3,000 m, and 25–33% reaches 4,500 m. This translates into ~0.03, 0.02, 0.01, and 0.01 Pg C year−1, transferred down to 500, 1,000, 2,000, and 4,500 m, respectively. Jelly‐C fluxes and transfer efficiencies can occasionally exceed phytodetrital‐based sediment trap estimates in localized open ocean and continental shelves areas under large gelatinous blooms or jelly‐C mass deposition events, but this remains ephemeral and transient in nature. This transfer of fast and permanently exported carbon reaching the ocean interior via jelly‐C constitutes an important component of the global biological soft‐tissue pump, and should be addressed in ocean biogeochemical models, in particular, at the local and regional scale.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/211384
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-OEB Ökosystembiologie des Ozeans
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2019GB006265
ISSN: 0886-6236
Related URLs:
Projects: Future Ocean, EPOCA
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2020 12:54
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 09:11
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/48625

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