National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2016

Net community production and calcification from 7 years of NOAA Station Papa Mooring measurements

Fassbender, A.J., C.L. Sabine, and M.F. Cronin

Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 30, 250–267, doi: 10.1002/2015GB005205 (2016)

Seven years of near-continuous observations from the Ocean Station Papa (OSP) surface mooring were used to evaluate drivers of marine carbon cycling in the eastern subarctic Pacific. Processes contributing to mixed layer carbon inventory changes throughout each deployment year were quantitatively assessed using a time-dependent mass balance approach in which total alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon were used as tracers. By using two mixed layer carbon tracers, it was possible to isolate the influences of net community production (NCP) and calcification. Our results indicate that the annual NCP at OSP is 2 ± 1 mol C m−2 yr−1 and the annual calcification is 0.3 ± 0.3 mol C m−2 yr−1. Piecing together evidence for potentially significant dissolved organic carbon cycling in this region, we estimate a particulate inorganic carbon to particulate organic carbon ratio between 0.15 and 0.25. This is at least double the global average, adding to the growing evidence that calcifying organisms play an important role in carbon export at this location. These results, coupled with significant seasonality in the NCP, suggest that carbon cycling near OSP may be more complex than previously thought and highlight the importance of continuous observations for robust assessments of biogeochemical cycling.

Feature Publications | Outstanding Scientific Publications

Contact Sandra Bigley |