Optimality-Based Non-Redfield Plankton-Ecosystem Model (OPEMv1.0) in the UVic-ESCM 2.9. Part I: Implementation and Model Behaviour.

Pahlow, Markus, Chien, Chia-Te , Arteaga, Lionel A. and Oschlies, Andreas (2020) Optimality-Based Non-Redfield Plankton-Ecosystem Model (OPEMv1.0) in the UVic-ESCM 2.9. Part I: Implementation and Model Behaviour. Open Access Geoscientific Model Development, 13 . pp. 4663-4690. DOI 10.5194/gmd-13-4663-2020.

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Abstract

Uncertainties in projections from Earth system models (ESMs) are associated to a large degree with the imperfect representation of the marine plankton ecosystem, in particular the physiology of primary and secondary producers. Here we describe the implementation of an optimality-based plankton-ecosystem model (OPEM) with variable C:N:P stoichiometry in the University of Victoria ESM (UVic) and the behaviour of two calibrated reference configurations, which differ in the assumed temperature dependence of diazotrophs.

Predicted tracer distributions of oxygen and dissolved inorganic nutrients are similar to those of an earlier fixed-stoichiometry model (Keller et al., 2012). Compared to the classic fixed-stoichiometry model, OPEM is closer to recent satellite-based estimates of net community production (NCP), despite overestimating net primary production (NPP), can better reproduce deep-ocean gradients in the NO3:PO43− ratio, and partially explains observed patterns of particulate C:N:P in the surface ocean. Allowing diazotrophs to grow (but not necessarily fix N2) at similar temperatures as other phytoplankton results in a better representation of surface Chl and NPP in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans.

Deficiencies of our calibrated OPEM configurations may serve as a magnifying glass for shortcomings in global biogeochemical models and hence guide future model development. The overestimation of NPP at low latitudes indicates the need for improved representations of temperature effects on biotic processes, as well as phytoplankton community composition, which may be represented by locally-varying parameters based on suitable trade-offs. Discrepancies between observed and predicted vertical gradients in particulate C:N:P ratios suggest the need to include preferential P remineralisation, which could also benefit the representation of N2 fixation. While OPEM yields a much improved distribution of surface N* (NO3− 16·PO43− + 2.9 mmol m−3), it still fails to reproduce observed N* in the Arctic, possibly related to a mis-representation of the phytoplankton community there and the lack of benthic denitrification in the model. Coexisting ordinary and diazotrophic phytoplankton can exert strong control on N* in our simulations, which questions the interpretation of N* as reflecting the balance of N2 fixation and denitrification.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Companion paper - link in: Related URL
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
OceanRep > SFB 754
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.5194/gmd-13-4663-2020
ISSN: 1991-959X
Related URLs:
Projects: SFB754, PalMod, Dynatrait, ISOS
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2020 09:10
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2020 07:18
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/48976

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