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See detailCoccolithophorid calcium carbonate dissolution in surface waters
Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Koch, Craig; Young, Jeremy R et al

Poster (2007, March 06)

The role of calcifying organisms in the ocean biogeochemistry has been receiving increasing attention since CO2-related global change issues such as ocean acidification were pointed out by the scientific ... [more ▼]

The role of calcifying organisms in the ocean biogeochemistry has been receiving increasing attention since CO2-related global change issues such as ocean acidification were pointed out by the scientific community. The implications of changing oceanic pH in modifying ecosystems dominated by planktonic calcifiers have been shown by mesocosm and laboratory experiments based on CO2 manipulations. The major concern of such experiments focussed on variations in the rates of ecosystem primary production and calcification due to changes in algal physiology or specific composition. Our results, from an interdisciplinary survey of coccolithophore-dominated blooms in the northern Bay of Biscay (NE Atlantic), suggest that biogenic calcite dissolution is occurring in the photic zone where surface waters are oversaturated with respect to calcite. The dissolution of CaCO3 in surface waters, evidenced by scanning electron microscopy observations, has an impact on the preservation and export of carbon in coccolithophore-dominated ecosystems and on the exchange of CO2 across the ocean-atmosphere interface. Both aspects of suspended calcite concentration reduction in natural environments (lower rates of production or dissolution) could be considered as a perturbation of the oceanic carbon cycle. We aim at presenting here a biogeochemical description of processes, including integrated primary production, calcification, and parameters such as transparent exopolymer particles concentration and particulate inorganic carbon profiles, during field studies. A mechanism for calcite dissolution, based on biological activity in microenvironments (including grazing, bacterial respiration and DMS production) is presented as a conceptual model in coccolithophore blooms. [less ▲]

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