Brzezinski, M. A., Krause, J. W., Bundy, R. M., Barbeau, K. A., Franks, P., Goericke, R., et al. (2015). Enhanced silica ballasting from iron stress sustains carbon export in a frontal zone within the California Current.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 120(7), 4654–4669.
Decima, M., Landry, M. R., Stukel, M. R., Lopez-Lopez, L., & Krause, J. W. (2016). Mesozooplankton biomass and grazing in the Costa Rica Dome: amplifying variability through the plankton food web.
J Plankton Res, 38(2), 317–330.
Abstract: We investigated standing stocks and grazing rates of mesozooplankton assemblages in the Costa Rica Dome (CRD), an open-ocean upwelling ecosystem in the eastern tropical Pacific. While phytoplankton biomass in the CRD is dominated by picophytoplankton (<2-microm cells) with especially high concentrations of Synechococcus spp., we found high mesozooplankton biomass ( approximately 5 g dry weight m-2) and grazing impact (12-50% integrated water column chlorophyll a), indicative of efficient food web transfer from primary producers to higher levels. In contrast to the relative uniformity in water-column chlorophyll a and mesozooplankton biomass, variability in herbivory was substantial, with lower rates in the central dome region and higher rates in areas offset from the dome center. While grazing rates were unrelated to total phytoplankton, correlations with cyanobacteria (negative) and biogenic SiO2 production (positive) suggest that partitioning of primary production among phytoplankton sizes contributes to the variability observed in mesozooplankton metrics. We propose that advection of upwelled waters away from the dome center is accompanied by changes in mesozooplankton composition and grazing rates, reflecting small changes within the primary producers. Small changes within the phytoplankton community resulting in large changes in the mesozooplankton suggest that the variability in lower trophic level dynamics was effectively amplified through the food web.
Krause, J. W., Stukel, M. R., Taylor, A. G., Taniguchi, D. A. A., De Verneil, A., & Landry, M. R. (2016). Net biogenic silica production and the contribution of diatoms to new production and organic matter export in the Costa Rica Dome ecosystem.
J Plankton Res, 38(2), 216–229.
Abstract: We determined the net rate of biogenic silica (bSiO2) production and estimated the diatom contribution to new production and organic matter export in the Costa Rica Dome during summer 2010. The shallow thermocline significantly reduces bSiO2 dissolution rates below the mixed layer, leading to significant enhancement of bSiO2 relative to organic matter (silicate-pump condition). This may explain why deep export of bSiO2 in this region is elevated by an order of magnitude relative to comparable systems. Diatom carbon, relative to autotrophic carbon, was low (<3%); however, the contribution of diatoms to new production averaged 3 and 13% using independent approaches. The 4-old discrepancy between methods may be explained by a low average C:Si ratio ( approximately 1.4) for the net produced diatom C relative to the net produced bSiO2. We speculate that this low production ratio is not the result of reduced C, but may arise from a significant contribution of non-diatom silicifying organisms to bSiO2 production. The contribution of diatoms to organic matter export was minor (5.7%). These results, and those of the broader project, suggest substantial food-web transformation of diatom organic matter in the euphotic zone, which creates enriched bSiO2 relative to organic matter within the exported material.
Stukel, M. R., Biard, T., Krause, J. W., & Ohman, M. D. (2018). Large Phaeodaria in the twilight zone: Their role in the carbon cycle.
Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, .
Abstract: Advances in in situ imaging allow enumeration of abundant populations of large Rhizarians that compose a substantial proportion of total mesozooplankton biovolume. Using a quasi-Lagrangian sampling scheme, we quantified the abundance, vertical distributions, and sinking‐related mortality of Aulosphaeridae, an abundant family of Phaeodaria in the California Current Ecosystem. Inter‐cruise variability was high, with average concentrations at the depth of maximum abundance ranging from < 10 to > 300 cells m−3, with seasonal and interannual variability associated with temperature‐preferences and regional shoaling of the 10°C isotherm. Vertical profiles showed that these organisms were consistently most abundant at 100�150 m depth. Average turnover times with respect to sinking were 4.7�10.9 d, equating to minimum in situ population growth rates of ~ 0.1�0.2 d−1. Using simultaneous measurements of sinking organic carbon, we find that these organisms could only meet their carbon demand if their carbon : volume ratio were ~ 1 μg C mm−3. This value is substantially lower than previously used in global estimates of rhizarian biomass, but is reasonable for organisms that use large siliceous tests to inflate their cross‐sectional area without a concomitant increase in biomass. We found that Aulosphaeridae alone can intercept > 20% of sinking particles produced in the euphotic zone before these particles reach a depth of 300 m. Our results suggest that the local (and likely global) carbon biomass of Aulosphaeridae, and probably the large Rhizaria overall, needs to be revised downwards, but that these organisms nevertheless play a major role in carbon flux attenuation in the twilight zone.