Strong responses of Southern Ocean phytoplankton communities to volcanic ash

Browning, T. J., Bouman, H. A., Henderson, G. M., Mather, T. A., Pyle, D. M., Schlosser, Christian, Woodward, E. M. S. and Moore, C. M. (2014) Strong responses of Southern Ocean phytoplankton communities to volcanic ash Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (8). pp. 2851-2857. DOI 10.1002/2014GL059364.

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Volcanic eruptions have been hypothesized as an iron supply mechanism for phytoplankton blooms; however, little direct evidence of stimulatory responses has been obtained in the field. Here we present the results of twenty-one 1-2day bottle enrichment experiments from cruises in the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean which conclusively demonstrated a photophysiological and biomass stimulation of phytoplankton communities following supply of basaltic or rhyolitic volcanic ash. Furthermore, experiments in the Southern Ocean demonstrated significant phytoplankton community responses to volcanic ash supply in the absence of responses to addition of dissolved iron alone. At these sites, dissolved manganese concentrations were among the lowest ever measured in seawater, and we therefore suggest that the enhanced response to ash may have been a result of the relief of manganese (co)limitation. Our results imply that volcanic ash deposition events could trigger extensive phytoplankton blooms, potentially capable of significant impacts on regional carbon cycling.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000335809800025
Keywords: iron fertilization; volcanic ash; Southern Ocean; colimitation; manganese; phytoplankton
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1002/2014GL059364
ISSN: 0094-8276
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2014 09:47
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2017 08:39

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