Marine isoprene production and consumption in the mixed layer of the surface ocean – a field study over two oceanic regions
- 1GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany
- 2Marine Biological Laboratory, MBL, Woods Hole, MA, USA
- 3Alfred Wegener Institute – Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
- 4Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Germany
Abstract. Parameterizations of surface ocean isoprene concentrations are numerous, despite the lack of source/sink process understanding. Here we present isoprene and related field measurements in the mixed layer from the Indian Ocean and the eastern Pacific Ocean to investigate the production and consumption rates in two contrasting regions, namely oligotrophic open ocean and the coastal upwelling region. Our data show that the ability of different phytoplankton functional types (PFTs) to produce isoprene seems to be mainly influenced by light, ocean temperature, and salinity. Our field measurements also demonstrate that nutrient availability seems to have a direct influence on the isoprene production. With the help of pigment data, we calculate in-field isoprene production rates for different PFTs under varying biogeochemical and physical conditions. Using these new calculated production rates, we demonstrate that an additional significant and variable loss, besides a known chemical loss and a loss due to air–sea gas exchange, is needed to explain the measured isoprene concentration. We hypothesize that this loss, with a lifetime for isoprene between 10 and 100 days depending on the ocean region, is potentially due to degradation or consumption by bacteria.