Data_Sheet_1_Roles of Iron Limitation in Phytoplankton Dynamics in the Western and Eastern Subarctic Pacific.docx (8.14 MB)
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Data_Sheet_1_Roles of Iron Limitation in Phytoplankton Dynamics in the Western and Eastern Subarctic Pacific.docx

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posted on 17.09.2021, 04:15 authored by Hao-Ran Zhang, Yuntao Wang, Peng Xiu, Yiquan Qi, Fei Chai

The subarctic Pacific is one of the major high-nitrate, low-chlorophyll (HNLC) regions where marine productivity is greatly limited by the supply of iron (Fe) in the region. There is a distinct seasonal difference in the chlorophyll concentrations of the east and west sides of the subarctic Pacific because of the differences in their driving mechanisms. In the western subarctic Pacific, two chlorophyll concentration peaks occur: the peak in spring and early summer is dominated by diatoms, while the peak in late summer and autumn is dominated by small phytoplankton. In the eastern subarctic Pacific, a single chlorophyll concentration peak occurs in late summer, while small phytoplankton dominate throughout the year. In this study, two one-dimensional (1D) physical–biological models with Fe cycles were applied to Ocean Station K2 (Stn. K2) in the western subarctic Pacific and Ocean Station Papa (Stn. Papa) in the eastern subarctic Pacific. These models were used to study the role of Fe limitation in regulating the seasonal differences in phytoplankton populations by reproducing the seasonal variability in ocean properties in each region. The results were reasonably comparable with observational data, i.e., cruise and Biogeochemical-Argo data, showing that the difference in bioavailable Fe (BFe) between Stn. K2 and Stn. Papa played a dominant role in controlling the respective seasonal variabilities of diatom and small phytoplankton growth. At Stn. Papa, there was less BFe, and the Fe limitation of diatom growth was two times as strong as that at Stn. K2; however, the difference in the Fe limitation of small phytoplankton growth between these two regions was relatively small. At Stn. K2, the decrease in BFe during summer reduced the growth rate of diatoms, which led to a rapid reduction in diatom biomass. Simultaneously, the decrease in BFe had little impact on small phytoplankton growth, which helped maintain the relatively high small phytoplankton biomass until autumn. The experiments that stimulated a further increase in atmospheric Fe deposition also showed that the responses of phytoplankton primary production in the eastern subarctic Pacific were stronger than those in the western subarctic Pacific but contributed little to primary production, as the Fe limitation of phytoplankton growth was replaced by macronutrient limitation.