Primary production export flux in Marguerite Bay (Antarctic Peninsula): linking upper water-column production to sediment trap flux

Weston, Keith; Jickells, Timothy D.; Carson, Damien S.; Clarke, Andrew; Meredith, Michael P.; Brandon, Mark A.; Wallace, Margaret I.; Ussher, Simon J. and Hendry, Katherine R. (2013). Primary production export flux in Marguerite Bay (Antarctic Peninsula): linking upper water-column production to sediment trap flux. Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 75 pp. 52–66.



The relationship between exportable or 'new' primary production to the actual exported primary production in shelf seas is key to understanding the role of phytoplankton production in the delivery of carbon to the seabed. We measured new and regenerated primary production in surface waters at a coastal Antarctic site and related it to direct measurements of particle flux using sediment traps. The study site is the location of a long-term study, the Rothera Oceanographic and Biological Time Series. Upper water column new primary production from rate measurements were shown to be in agreement with estimates calculated from concurrent nutrient deficit measurements, providing confidence in our new primary production estimates for this region. Comparison with sediment trap flux measurements showed that at this coastal time series site (total water column depth 520m) ~2% of the upper mixed layer new production was exported to traps at 200m and 400m depth. The maximum particle flux rate to sediment traps at a site further offshore (total water column depth 820m) was lower than the flux at the coastal time series site but flux of particulate organic carbon was at similar rates during the high flux period. Remineralisation in the upper water column occurred above the upper sediment traps at both sites, with minimal remineralisation below 200m. Overall this study shows this highly productive region on the Western Antarctic Peninsula is best characterised as 'high recycling and low export'.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 35794
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 0967-0637
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    Not SetNot SetNERC (Natural Environment Research Council)
  • Keywords
  • primary production; new production; regenerated production; f ratio; Antarctic Peninsula; Southern Ocean
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Other Departments > Other Departments
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
  • Depositing User
  • Mark Brandon