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Planktonic community structure and carbon cycling in the Arabian Sea as a result of monsoonal forcing: the application of a generic model

Blackford, J.C.; Burkill, P.H.. 2002 Planktonic community structure and carbon cycling in the Arabian Sea as a result of monsoonal forcing: the application of a generic model. Journal of Marine Systems, 36 (3-4). 239-267. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0924-7963(02)00182-3

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Abstract/Summary

The Arabian Sea exhibits a complex pattern of biogeochemical and ecological dynamics, which vary both seasonally and spatially. These dynamics have been studied using a one-dimensional vertical hydrodynamic model coupled to a complex ecosystem model, simulating the annual cycle at three contrasting stations. These stations are characterised by seasonally upwelling, mixed-layer-deepening and a-seasonal oligotrophic conditions, respectively, and coincide with extensively measured stations on the two JGOFS ARABESQUE cruises in 1994. The model reproduces many spatial and temporal trends in production, biomass, physical and chemical properties, both qualitatively and quantitatively and so gives insight into the main mechanisms responsible for the biogeochemical and ecological complexity. Monsoonal systems are typified by classical food web dynamics, whilst intermonsoonal and oligotrophic systems are dominated by the microbial loop. The ecosystem model (ERSEM), developed for temperate regions, is found to be applicable to the Arabian Sea system with little reparameterisation. Differences in in-situ physical forcing are sufficient to recreate contrasting eutrophic and oligotrophic systems, although the lack of lateral terms are probably the greatest source of error in the model. Physics, nutrients, light and grazing are all shown to play a role in controlling production and community structure. Small-celled phytoplanktons are predicted to be dominant and sub-surface chlorophyll maxima are robust centers of production during intermonsoon periods. Analysis of carbon fluxes indicate that physically driven outgassing of CO2 predominates in monsoonal upwelling systems but ecological activity may significantly moderate CO2 outgassing in the Arabian Sea interior.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/S0924-7963(02)00182-3
ISSN: 0924-7963
Additional Keywords: Ecological modeling; Arabian Sea; Carbon cycle; Plankton community; 1D water column model
Date made live: 31 Jul 2008 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/155519

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