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Using a regional ocean model, we find that coccolithophore biomass in the Southern Ocean is highest in the subantarctic in late summer when diatom growth becomes limited by silicate. We show that zooplankton grazing is crucial to explain phytoplankton biomass distributions in this area and conclude that assessments of future distributions should not only consider physical and chemical factors (temperature, light, nutrients, pH), but also interactions with other phytoplankton or zooplankton.
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BG | Articles | Volume 15, issue 22
Biogeosciences, 15, 6997–7024, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-6997-2018
Biogeosciences, 15, 6997–7024, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-6997-2018

Research article 22 Nov 2018

Research article | 22 Nov 2018

Factors controlling coccolithophore biogeography in the Southern Ocean

Cara Nissen et al.

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Cited articles

Anderson, L. A. and Sarmiento, J. L.: Redfield ratios of remineralization determined by nutrient data analysis, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 8, 65–80, https://doi.org/10.1029/93GB03318, 1994. a
Archer, S., Widdicombe, C., Tarran, G., Rees, A., and Burkill, P.: Production and turnover of particulate dimethylsulphoniopropionate during a coccolithophore bloom in the northern North Sea, Aquat. Microb. Ecol., 24, 225–241, https://doi.org/10.3354/ame024225, 2001. a
Armstrong, R. A., Lee, C., Hedges, J. I., Honjo, S., and Wakeham, S. G.: A new, mechanistic model for organic carbon fluxes in the ocean based on the quantitative association of POC with ballast minerals, Deep-Sea Res. Pt. II, 49, 219–236, https://doi.org/10.1016/s0967-0645(01)00101-1, 2002. a
Balch, W. M.: Re-evaluation of the physiological ecology of coccolithophores, in: Coccolithophores – From Molecular Processes to Global Impact, edited by: Thierstein, H. R. and Young, J. R., Springer, Berlin, 165–190, 2004. a, b
Balch, W. M., Drapeau, D., Bowler, B., and Booth, E.: Prediction of pelagic calcification rates using satellite measurements, Deep-Sea Res. Pt. II, 54, 478–495, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2006.12.006, 2007. a, b
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Short summary
Using a regional ocean model, we find that coccolithophore biomass in the Southern Ocean is highest in the subantarctic in late summer when diatom growth becomes limited by silicate. We show that zooplankton grazing is crucial to explain phytoplankton biomass distributions in this area and conclude that assessments of future distributions should not only consider physical and chemical factors (temperature, light, nutrients, pH), but also interactions with other phytoplankton or zooplankton.
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Final-revised paper
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