Effect on pCO2 by phytoplankton uptake of dissolved organic nutrients in the Central and Northern Baltic Sea, a model study

Dissolved organic matter (DOM) has been added to an existing biogeochemical model and the phytoplankton were allowed to utilize the dissolved organic nutrients for primary production. The results show typical vertical structures for dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and improved or maintained model skill for both mean vertical profiles and mean seasonal variation of biogeochemical variables, evaluated by objective skill metrics. Due to scarce DOM measurements in the Baltic Sea it was hard to validate the new variables, but the model can recreate the general magnitude and distribution of terrestrial and in situ produced DOC, DON, and DOP, as far as we know them. The improvements are especially clear for the total nutrient levels and in recreating the biological drawdown of CO2 in the Eastern Gotland basin. Without phytoplankton uptake of dissolved organic nitrogen and phosphate, CO2 assimilation is lower during the summer months and the partial pressure of CO2 increases by about 200 μatm in the Eastern Gotland Basin, while in the Bothnian Bay, both the duration and magnitude of CO2 assimilation are halved. Thus the phytoplankton uptake of dissolved organic nutrients lowers pCO2 in both basins. Variations in the river transported DOM concentration mainly affect the magnitude of the summer cyanobacteria bloom.

Edman M. K. & Anderson L. G., 2014. Effect on pCO2 by phytoplankton uptake of dissolved organic nutrients in the Central and Northern Baltic Sea, a model study. Journal of Marine Systems 139: 166-182. Article (subscription required).

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