Silicon cycle in the tropical South Pacific: contribution to the global Si cycle and evidence for an active pico-sized siliceous plankton

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From: Biogeosciences(Vol. 15, Issue 18)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Author abstract; Brief article; Report
Length: 261 words

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Abstract :

This article presents data regarding the Si biogeochemical cycle during two oceanographic cruises conducted in the tropical South Pacific (BIOSOPE and OUTPACE cruises) in 2005 and 2015. It involves the first Si stock measurements in this understudied region, encompassing various oceanic systems from New Caledonia to the Chilean upwelling between 8 and 34° S. Some of the lowest levels of biogenic silica standing stocks ever measured were found in this area, notably in the southern Pacific gyre, where Chlorophyll a concentrations are the most depleted worldwide. Integrated biogenic silica stocks are as low as 1.08±0.95 mmol m.sup.-2 and are the lowest stocks measured in the South Pacific. Size-fractionated biogenic silica concentrations revealed a non-negligible contribution of the pico-sized fraction (2-3 µm) to biogenic silica standing stocks, representing 26% ± 12% of total biogenic silica during the OUTPACE cruise and 11% ± 9% during the BIOSOPE cruise. These results indicate significant accumulation in this size class, which was undocumented for 2005, but has since then been related to Si uptake by Synechococcus cells. Si uptake measurements carried out during BIOSOPE confirmed biological Si uptake by this size fraction. We further present diatoms community structure associated with the stock measurements for a global overview of the Si cycle in the tropical South Pacific.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A555028012