Articles | Volume 18, issue 19
Research article
01 Oct 2021
Research article |  | 01 Oct 2021

Riverine nitrogen supply to the global ocean and its limited impact on global marine primary production: a feedback study using an Earth system model

Miriam Tivig, David P. Keller, and Andreas Oschlies

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Cited articles

Altabet, M. A.: Constraints on oceanic N balance/imbalance from sedimentary 15N records, Biogeosciences, 4, 75–86,, 2006. a
Bange, H., Naqvi, S., and Codispoti, L.: The nitrogen cycle in the Arabian Sea, Prog. Oceanogr., 65, 145–158,, 2005. a
Barron, C. and Duarte, C. M.: Dissolved organic carbon pools and export from the coastal ocean, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 29, 1725–1738,, 2015. a
Bauer, J. E., Cai, W. J., Raymond, P. A., Bianchi, T. S., Hopkinson, C. S., and Regnier, P. A. G.: The changing carbon cycle of the coastal ocean, Nature, 504, 61–70,, 2013. a
Behrenfeld, M. and Falkowski, P. G.: Photosynthetic rates derived from satellite-based chlorophyll concentrations, Limnol. Oceanogr., 42, 1–20, 1997. a, b
Short summary
Nitrogen is one of the most important elements for life in the ocean. A major source is the riverine discharge of dissolved nitrogen. While global models often omit rivers as a nutrient source, we included nitrogen from rivers in our Earth system model and found that additional nitrogen affected marine biology not only locally but also in regions far off the coast. Depending on regional conditions, primary production was enhanced or even decreased due to internal feedbacks in the nitrogen cycle.
Final-revised paper