Articles | Volume 16, issue 18
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-3621-2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-3621-2019
Research article
 | 
24 Sep 2019
Research article |  | 24 Sep 2019

Isotopic fractionation of carbon during uptake by phytoplankton across the South Atlantic subtropical convergence

Robyn E. Tuerena, Raja S. Ganeshram, Matthew P. Humphreys, Thomas J. Browning, Heather Bouman, and Alexander P. Piotrowski

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Short summary
The carbon isotopes in algae can be used to predict food sources and environmental change. We explore how dissolved carbon is taken up by algae in the South Atlantic Ocean and how this affects their carbon isotope signature. We find that cell size controls isotope fractionation. We use our results to investigate how climate change may impact the carbon isotopes in algae. We suggest a shift to smaller algae in this region would decrease the carbon isotope ratio at the base of the food web.
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