Received: 19 Sep 2018 – Accepted for review: 07 Oct 2018 – Discussion started: 16 Oct 2018
Abstract. Characterizing carbon cycling and redistribution in the ocean is an important issue for Mankind, because it may affect key ecosystem services, e.g., support to climate system and food provision. In this paper, using an integrated approach, we explore the impact of the surface circulation on carbon dynamics in the Western Mediterranean Sea, where strong inter-basin differences in primary production do exist. Detailed information on the surface circulation, derived from high-resolution model simulations, is combined with the analysis of accurate, repeated dissolved organic carbon (DOC) data. Our work indicates that the advection of the Atlantic Water acts as a trophic link between the Algerian Basin and the Tyrrhenian Sea, determining a flux of 8.8–37.9 × 1012 g DOC yr−1 into the basin. Thus, surface transport of DOC can redistribute chemical energy among regions with different trophic regimes. We hypothesize that this overlooked mechanism plays an important role also in the global ocean.
How to cite. Santinelli, C., Iacono, R., Napolitano, E., and Ribera d'Alcalá, M.: Surface transport of DOC acts as a trophic link among Mediterranean sub-basins, Biogeosciences Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2018-418, 2018.
Part of the energy in the ocean is stored as dissolved organic carbon. Water moves around, bringing this energy from one place to another, down to the deep layers and up again. Here, we show that horizontal currents can have a strong impact on the carbon cycle, because they can transport chemical energy far away, establishing links between distant areas of the ocean and feeding regions in which the local accumulation of chemical energy is low.
Part of the energy in the ocean is stored as dissolved organic carbon. Water moves around,...