Changing carbon-to-nitrogen ratios of organic-matter export under ocean acidification.

Taucher, Jan , Boxhammer, Tim , Bach, Lennart T. , Paul, Allanah J. , Schartau, Markus , Stange, Paul and Riebesell, Ulf (2020) Changing carbon-to-nitrogen ratios of organic-matter export under ocean acidification. Nature Climate Change . DOI 10.1038/s41558-020-00915-5.

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Abstract

Ocean acidification (OA) will affect marine biotas from the organism to the ecosystem level. Yet, the consequences for the biological carbon pump and thereby the oceanic sink for atmospheric CO2 are still unclear. Here we show that OA considerably alters the C/N ratio of organic-matter export (C/Nexport), a key factor determining efficiency of the biological pump. By synthesizing sediment-trap data from in situ mesocosm studies in different marine biomes, we find distinct but highly variable impacts of OA on C/Nexport, reaching up to a 20% increase/decrease under partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) conditions projected for 2100. These changes are driven by pCO2 effects on a variety of plankton taxa and corresponding shifts in food-web structure. Notably, our findings suggest a pivotal role of heterotrophic processes in controlling the response of C/Nexport to OA, thus contradicting the paradigm of primary producers as the principal driver of biogeochemical responses to ocean change.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/211384 ; info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/228224
Keywords: ocean acidification; ecosystem
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BI Biological Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1038/s41558-020-00915-5
ISSN: 1758-678X
Related URLs:
Projects: KOSMOS, BIOACID, SOPRAN, MESOAQUA, EPOCA
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2020 09:25
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2020 12:30
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/50780

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