Articles | Volume 14, issue 1
Research article
12 Jan 2017
Research article |  | 12 Jan 2017

Role of zooplankton in determining the efficiency of the biological carbon pump

Emma L. Cavan, Stephanie A. Henson, Anna Belcher, and Richard Sanders


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Discussed (final revised paper)

Latest update: 12 Apr 2024
Short summary
The biological carbon pump (BCP) plays a key role in regulating atmospheric CO2. Controls on the efficiency at which this occurs are poorly known. Here we combine in situ observations with an ecosystem model to show that zooplankton have an important role in regulating the efficiency of the BCP. Predicted future changes in ocean conditions, such as expansion of oxygen minimum zones, may decrease the role of zooplankton in the BCP globally, increasing its efficiency and altering atmospheric CO2.
Final-revised paper