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Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 5, NUMBER 8, AUGUST 1992
MARINE BIOGEOCHEMISTRY & FERTILIZATION
"Episodic Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition to Oligotrophic Oceans,"
N.J.P. Owens (Marine Lab., Prospect Pl., The Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK), J.N.
Galloway, R.A. Duce, Nature, 357(6377), 397-399, June 4, 1992.
Reevaluates atmospheric N inputs using a nine-year record of N deposition,
and shows that they can make important contributions to "new production"
of phytoplankton during episodic events. The burning of fossil fuels could
directly increase oceanic productivity through this mechanism.
"Carbon Fluxes and Burial Rates over the Continental Slope and Rise
off Central California with Implications for the Global Carbon Cycle," C.E.
Reimers (Scripps Inst. Oceanog., La Jolla CA 92093), R.A. Jahnke, D.C. McCorkle,
Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 6(2), 199 ff., June 1992.
Measurements of organic carbon degradation and CaCO3 dissolution were
combined with organic-C and carbonate-C accumulation rates. Results suggest that
modern sediments on the outer regions of continental margins are important
sources of CO2 that is injected directly into ocean deep water, but do not
indicate a significant anthropogenic enhancement of carbon export to continental
slopes and rises.
Three items from Nature, 356(6371), Apr. 23, 1992:
"Catalytic Conversions," J.R. Toggweiler (GFDL, Princeton
Univ., POB 308, Princeton NJ 08542), 665-666.
Critically discusses the somewhat conflicting results of the next two papers
in this issue of Nature and the following paper by Benner et al. in Science.
They relate to the controversial findings of Sugimura and Suzuki (1988), who
claimed to discover a new pool of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) based on a new
extraction method, high-temperature catalytic oxidation (HTCO).
"Comparison of Two Methods for Measuring Dissolved Organic Carbon in
Sea Water," H. Ogawa (Dept. Environ. Sci., Tokyo Univ. Agric. &
Technol., 3-5-8 Saiwaicho, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo 183, Japan), N. Ogura, 696-698.
Compares determinations of DOC obtained by HTCO with conventional
determination by wet chemical oxidation (WCO). The results are in fair
agreement, with the HTCO results being considerably lower than reported
"Dissolved Organic Carbon in the Atlantic, Southern and Pacific Oceans,"
J.H. Martin (Moss Landing Marine Labs., Moss Landing CA 95039), S.E. Fitzwater,
Provides independent confirmation of the findings of Sugimura and Suzuki
using the HTCO technique. Results imply that the carbon content of the oceans
has previously been underestimated by 1012 tons, and that the new total
represents one of the largest carbon reservoirs on Earth.
"Bulk Chemical Characteristics of Dissolved Organic Matter in the
Ocean," R. Benner (Marine Sci. Inst., Univ. Texas, Port Aransas TX 78373),
J.D. Pakulski et al., Science, 255(5051), 1561-1564, Mar. 20,
Uses ultrafiltration to recover milligram amounts of >1000 daltons of DOM
from three depths in the North Pacific Ocean. Polysaccharides appear to be more
abundant and reactive components of sea water DOM than has been recognized.
"Downward Transport and Fate of Organic Matter in the Ocean:
Simulations with a General Circulation Model," R.G. Najjar (NCAR, POB 3000,
Boulder CO 80307), J.L. Sarmiento, J.R. Toggweiler, Global Biogeochem.
Cycles, 6(1), 45 ff., Mar. 1992.
A phosphorous-based model of nutrient cycling combined with a general
circulation model is used to explore "nutrient trapping," a positive
feedback whereby upwelling contributes to new production. Results support the
HTCO results of Sugimura and Suzuki (1988) and suggest the existence of an as
yet undiscovered pool of dissolved organic phosphorous in the ocean.
"Nutrient Control of Phytoplankton Photosynthesis in the Western
North Atlantic," T. Platt (Bedford Inst. Oceanog., Box 1006, Dartmouth,
N.S. B2Y 4A2, Can.), S. Sathyendranath et al., Nature, 356(6366),
229-231, Mar. 19, 1992.
Results from several years of oceanographic cruises on the parameters of the
photosynthesis-light curve for marine flora are interpreted as direct evidence
for nutrient control of photosynthesis in the open ocean. Other significant
implications for the ocean carbon cycle are discussed.
"The BOFS 1990 Spring Bloom Experiment--Temporal Evolution and
Spatial Variability of the Hydrographic Field," G. Savidge (Marine Biol.
Sta., Queens Univ. Belfast, Portaferry BT22 1PF, Down, N. Ireland), D.R. Turner
et al., Progr. Oceanog., 29(3), 235-281, 1992.
A lengthy review of the first major experiment of the U.K. Biogeochemical
Ocean Flux Study (BOFS), intended to monitor and quantify the carbon flux
changes associated with the evolution of the spring bloom in the northeast
Atlantic. Mesoscale features were observed to have a major influence on the
development of the bloom.
"Photo-Reduction of Fe(III) by Dissolved Organic Substances and
Existence of Fe(II) in Seawater during Spring Blooms," K. Kuma (Dept.
Chem., Fisheries Faculty, Hokkaido Univ., Hakodate 041, Japan), S. Nakabayashi
et al., Marine Chem., 37(1-2), 15-27, Mar. 1992.
Laboratory experiments showed that Fe (III) was readily reduced to Fe (II)
in sunlight in the presence of hydroxycarboxylic acids, such as sugar acids. In
the field, Fe (II) appeared in oxic surface sea water during spring blooms,
possibly as a result of photoreduction of Fe (III) in the presence of
hydroxycarboxylic acids released by phytoplankton.
"Link between Iron and Sulfur Cycles Suggested by Detection of
Fe(II) in Remote Marine Aerosols," G. Zhuang (Environ. Sci. Prog., Univ.
Massachusetts, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston MA 02125), Z. Yi et al., Nature,
355(6360), 537-539, Feb. 6, 1992.
Fe (II) contributed about half of the total Fe in marine aerosol samples
collected over the Pacific and at Barbados. In view of the marine biological
production of DMS and the subsequent oxidation of reduced forms of atmospheric
S, the Fe and S cycles in both the atmosphere and ocean may be closely coupled.
"Quantitative Spatial Models of Atlantic Primary Productivity: An
Application of Geomathematics," U.C. Herzfeld (Scripps Inst. Oceanog., La
Jolla CA 92093), J. Geophys. Res., 97(C1), 717-732, Jan. 15,
The role of physical oceanographical, geochemical and sedimentological data
in the problem of estimating ocean primary productivity is analyzed using
geostatistical and algebraic multivariate spatial methods. Presents Atlantic
Ocean case studies for phosphate distribution at the 100 m level, foraminifera
abundance in sediments, and sea surface temperature.
Special section on the WEC88 cruise to the equatorial Pacific,
J. Geophys. Res., 97(C1), Jan. 15, 1992.
"Introduction to the WEC88 Cruise: An Investigation into Why the
Equator Is Not Greener," R.T. Barber (Marine Lab., Duke Univ., Beaufort,
N.C.), 609-610. The cruise focused on upwelling, turbulence, irradiance and
nutrient supply, and how they affect photosynthesis, photoadaptation, nutrient
uptake and the synthesis of new nitrogen- and carbon-containing biomass. By
showing that physical conditions are not responsible for the persistence of
unused nutrients in surface waters, the results emphasize the need to test the
role of grazing and the iron hypothesis.
"Hydrographic Patterns and Vertical Mixing in the Equatorial Pacific
along 150° W," M.-E. Carr (College Oceanog., Oregon State Univ.,
Corvallis OR 97331), N.S. Oakey et al., 611-626.
"Primary Production Estimates from Recordings of Solar Stimulated
Fluorescence in the Equatorial Pacific at 150° W," P.M. Stegmann
(Grad. Sch. Oceanog., Univ. Rhode Island, Narraganset RI 02882), M.R. Lewis et
"Photosynthetic Characteristics and Estimated Growth Rates Indicate
Grazing Is the Proximate Control of Primary Production in the Equatorial
Pacific," J.J. Cullen (Dept. Oceanog., Dalhousie Univ., Halifax, N.S. B3H
4J1, Can.), M.R. Lewis et al., 639-654.
"Standing Stocks of Particulate Carbon and Nitrogen in the Equatorial
Pacific at 150° W," R.W. Eppley (Marine Life Res. Group, Scripps
Inst. Oceanog., La Jolla CA 92093), F.P. Cahvez, R.T. Barber, 655-661.
"Nitrate Utilization by Plankton in the Equatorial Pacific, March 1988,
along 150° W," R.E. Eppley (addr. above), E.H. Renger, 663-668.
"Measurements of Nitrogen Productivity in the Equatorial Pacific,"
F.P. Wilkerson (Dept. Biol. Sci., Univ. Southern California, Los Angeles CA
90089), R.C. Dugdale, 669-679.
"Estimating New Production in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean at
150° W," R.C. Dugdale (Dept. Biol. Sci., Univ. Southern California,
Los Angeles CA 90089), F.P. Wilkerson et al., 681-686.
Two items from Science, 254(5036), Nov. 29, 1991:
"Age of Canada Basin Deep Waters: A Way to Estimate Primary Production
for the Arctic Ocean," R.W. Macdonald (Inst. Ocean Sci., POB 6000, Sidney,
B.C. V8L 4B2, Can.), E.C. Carmack, 1348-1350.
An empirical model of carbon flux and 14C-derived age of water as a function
of depth was used to estimate the long-term rate of primary production,
providing a baseline for understanding the role of the Arctic Ocean in global
"Major Role of the Cyanobacterium Trichodesmium in Nutrient
Cycling in the North Atlantic Ocean," E.J. Carpenter (Marine Sci. Res.
Ctr., SUNY, Stony Brook NY 11794), K. Romans, 1356-1358.
Abundance measurements of this large phytoplankter plus a review of earlier
observations indicate that it, rather than the picophytoplankton, is the most
important primary producer in the tropical North Atlantic Ocean. This finding
may help explain the disparity between various methods of measuring productivity
in the oligotrophic ocean.
"Seasonal and Depth-Related Changes in the Source of Sinking
Particles in the North Atlantic," M.A. Altabet (Woods Hole Oceanog. Inst.,
Woods Hole MA 02543), W.G. Deuser et al., Nature, 354(6349),
136-139, Nov. 14, 1991.
Uses nitrogen isotope ratios to investigate the source and transformation of
large, fast-sinking particles in the North Atlantic Ocean. The signal from
near-surface seasonal changes propagates rapidly into the deep ocean. There may
be another source of sinking particles other than recent surface production.
"Occurrence of Small Colloids in Sea Water," M.L. Wells
(Scripps Inst. Oceanog., La Jolla CA 92093), E.D. Goldberg, ibid., 353(6342),
342 ff., Sep. 26, 1991.
Measurements show that marine colloids <120 nm in size are at least three
orders of magnitude more abundant than larger (submicrometer) particles, and
their depth distribution differs markedly. Their existence may contribute to the
discrepancy between standard and new high-temperature methods for measuring
dissolved organic carbon.
"Carbon Monoxide and Methane Distribution and Consumption in the
Photic Zone of the Sargasso Sea," R.D. Jones (Dept. Biol. Sci., Florida
Intl. Univ., Miami, Fla.), Deep Sea Res., Pt. A. Oceanog. Res. Papers
(U.K.), 38(6A), 625-635, June 1991.
Distributions and microbial oxidation of CO and CH4 were examined on three
cruises. Due to the long turnover times found for these trace gases, their
oxidation by bacteria is unlikely to represent a significant link within the
carbon cycle in these highly oligotrophic waters.
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