Modeling the Impact of Macrozooplankton on Carbon Export Production in the Southern Ocean


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onur.karakus [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Macrozooplankton and its grazing pressure shape ecosystem structures and carbon pathways in the Southern Ocean. Here, we present the implementation of “polar macrozooplankton” as a plankton functional type and a related fast-sinking detritus class (fecal pellets) into the biogeochemical model REcoM-2. We use the model to assess major carbon pathways and ecosystem structure in the Southern Ocean south of 50°S. The model represents zooplankton biomass and its spatial distribution in the Southern Ocean reasonably well in comparison to available biomass data. A distinct difference of our model from previous versions is the seasonal pattern of particle formation processes and ecosystem structures in the Southern Ocean. REcoM-2 now captures high zooplankton biomass and a typical shift from a dominance of phytodetrital aggregates in spring to zooplankton fecal pellets later in the year. At sites with high biomass of macrozooplankton, the transfer efficiency of particulate organic carbon can be as high as 50%, and the carbon content of the exported material increases. In our simulations, macrozooplankton is an important component of the Southern Ocean plankton community, contributing up to 0.12 Pg C per year (14%) to total modeled carbon export across 100 m depth. Macrozooplankton changes the phytoplankton composition and supports the recycling of macronutrients. These results support the important role of macrozooplankton such as krill in the Southern Ocean and have implications for the representation of Southern Ocean biogeochemical cycles in models.



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Article
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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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Peer-reviewed, Web of Science / Scopus
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Published
Eprint ID
55195
DOI 10.1029/2021JC017315

Cite as
Karakuş, O. , Völker, C. , Iversen, M. , Hagen, W. , Wolf‐Gladrow, D. , Fach, B. and Hauck, J. (2021): Modeling the Impact of Macrozooplankton on Carbon Export Production in the Southern Ocean , Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 126 (12) . doi: 10.1029/2021JC017315


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