Report

The Southern Ocean Biological Response to Aeolian Iron Deposition

Science  24 Aug 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5841, pp. 1067-1070
DOI: 10.1126/science.1144602

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Abstract

Biogeochemical rate processes in the Southern Ocean have an important impact on the global environment. Here, we summarize an extensive set of published and new data that establishes the pattern of gross primary production and net community production over large areas of the Southern Ocean. We compare these rates with model estimates of dissolved iron that is added to surface waters by aerosols. This comparison shows that net community production, which is comparable to export production, is proportional to modeled input of soluble iron in aerosols. Our results strengthen the evidence that the addition of aerosol iron fertilizes export production in the Southern Ocean. The data also show that aerosol iron input particularly enhances gross primary production over the large area of the Southern Ocean downwind of dry continental areas.

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