AME - Vol. 62, No. 1 - Feature article

Satellite (SeaWiFS) ocean color image of the Pacific Ocean (Ocean Color image: NASA SeaWIFS (http://oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi/biosphere_globes.pl) superimposed on a diatom assemblage viewed by epifluorescence microscopy (photo credit: Rachel Foster, Max Planck Institute). Cruise track occupied during this study depicted by the white dashed line on the SeaWiFS image

Viviani DA, Björkman KM, Karl DM, Church MJ

 

Plankton metabolism in surface waters of the tropical and subtropical Pacific Ocean

 

The balance between photosynthesis and plankton community respiration controls net productivity in aquatic ecosystems. Viviani and co-workers examined the spatial coupling between net community production, respiration, and gross primary production across a trans-equatorial section of the Pacific Ocean. Gross primary production was considerably more variable than rates of respiration, with production outpacing respiration in the relatively nutrient-enriched equatorial waters. Their results highlight that factors regulating rates of gross primary production play a central role in controlling net ecosystem productivity and that changes in plankton community structure appear closely linked to variations in net ecosystem production.

 

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