Patterns of coccolithophore pigment change under global acidification conditions based on in-situ observations at BATS site between July 1990–Dec 2008

Coccolith production is an important part of the biogenic carbon cycle as the largest source of calcium carbonate on earth, accounting for about 75% of the deposition of carbon on the sea floor. Recent studies based on laboratory experiment results indicated that increasing anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere triggered global ocean acidification leading to a decrease of calcite or aragonite saturation and calcium carbonate, and to decreasing efficiency of carbon export/pumping to deep layers. In the present study, we analyzed about 20 years of field observations of coccolithophore pigment, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), nutrients, and temperatures from the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site and satellite remote sensing to investigate the variable tendency of the coccolithophore pigment, and to evaluate the influence of ocean acidification on coccolithophore biomass. The results indicated that there was a generally increasing tendency of coccolithophore pigment, coupled with increasing bicarbonate concentrations or decreasing carbonate ion concentration. The change of coccolithophore pigment was also closely associated with pH, nutrients, mixed layer depth (MLD), and temperature. Correlation analyses between coccolithophores and abiotic parameter imply that coccoliths production or coccolithophore pigment has increased with increasing acidification in the recent 20 years.

Lv J., Kuang Y., Zhao H. & Andersson A., in press. Patterns of coccolithophore pigment change under global acidification conditions based on in-situ observations at BATS site between July 1990–Dec 2008. Frontiers of Earth Science. Article (subscription required).


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