The eastern extent of seasonal iron limitation in the high latitude North Atlantic Ocean

Birchill, A. J.; Hartner, N. T.; Kunde, K.; Siemering, B.; Daniels, C.; González-Santana, D.; Milne, A.; Ussher, S. J.; Worsfold, P. J.; Leopold, K.; Painter, S. C.; Lohan, M. C.. 2019 The eastern extent of seasonal iron limitation in the high latitude North Atlantic Ocean. Scientific Reports, 9 (1).

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The availability of iron (Fe) can seasonally limit phytoplankton growth in the High Latitude North Atlantic (HLNA), greatly reducing the efciency of the biological carbon pump. However, the spatial extent of seasonal iron limitation is not yet known. We present autumn nutrient and dissolved Fe measurements, combined with microphytoplankton distribution, of waters overlying the Hebridean (Scottish) shelf break. A distinct biogeochemical divide was observed, with Fe defcient surface waters present beyond the shelf break, much further eastwards than previously recognised. Due to along and on-shelf circulation, the Hebridean shelf represents a much-localised source of Fe, which does not fertilise the wider HLNA. Shelf sediments are generally thought to supply large quantities of Fe to overlying waters. However, for this Fe to infuence upper-ocean biogeochemical cycling, efcient ofshelf transport mechanisms are required. This work challenges the view that the oceanic surface waters in close proximity to continental margins are iron replete with respect to marine primary production demands.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date made live: 15 Apr 2019 12:36 +0 (UTC)

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