Longitudinal variability of organic nutrients in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre.

Landolfi, Angela , Dietze, Heiner and Volpe, Gianluca (2016) Longitudinal variability of organic nutrients in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 111 . pp. 50-60. DOI 10.1016/j.dsr.2015.11.009.

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Supplementary data:


• Strong longitudinal variability occurs in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre.
• Allochthonous supply of semilabile DOP may occur in the western oligotrophic gyre.
• Semilabile DON supply does not provide a significant direct N source.
We combine modelled timescales of ocean circulation with satellite-retrieved and in situ biogeochemical observations collected in spring along 24.5°N in the subtropical North Atlantic. Longitudinal gradients in the distribution of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) and in other biogeochemical parameters are associated with the longitudinal variability in physical forcing and in the eastward increase of the timescale of advective transport. The western (West of 70°W) and eastern (East of 30°W) margins of the subtropical gyre appear influenced by the productive regions of the Gulf Stream and upwelling zones off Africa, respectively. Within the oligotrophic zone between 70 and 31°W, at approximately 46°W there is a change in the nutrient-controlling factors from the western ultra- oligotrophic with barely any seasonal cycle to an eastern oligotrophic environment with a more intense mixed layer dynamics. The allochthonous supply of semilabile-DOP may be important in the western sector of the oligotrophic gyre (approx. 70–46°W) where, together with the combination of shallow mixed layers, almost permanent stratification and high water temperatures create a niche for the growth of diazotrophs, which we detect from space. Turnover estimates exceeding 3 yr suggest that even re- active fractions of DON are unlikely to be a significant N source. In the eastern sector of the oligotrophic gyre (46–31°W), transit timescales longer than 3 years suggest that the allochthonous supply of the semilabile DOP is negligible due to its exhaustion. Here, an intense mixed layer dynamics favours nu- trient supply from below the mixed layer. We speculate that longitudinal variability in physical forcing and gradients in the timescale of advection, combined with distinct turnover timescales of reactive fractions of DON and DOP, drive diverse phytoplankton assemblages and surface nitrogen fixation gra- dients across our region of investigation.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000375161500005
Keywords: Dissolved organic nutrients; Allochthonous supply; North Atlantic subtropical gyre
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 754 > A2
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
OceanRep > SFB 754 > B1
OceanRep > SFB 754
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.dsr.2015.11.009
ISSN: 0967-0637
Projects: SFB754
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2015 09:12
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2020 06:54
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/30751

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