Ocean Food Web Key in Global Carbon Cycle

March 11, 2014 6:56 PM

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Ocean Food Web Key in Global Carbon Cycle

In a study of the ocean’s role in the global carbon cycle, Siegel and his colleagues used those nuggets to their advantage. They incorporated the lifecycle of phytoplankton and zooplankton — small, often microscopic animals at the bottom of the food chain — into a novel mechanistic model for assessing the global ocean carbon export. Their findings appear online in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

) by phytoplankton — to drive their food-web-based model. The scientists focused on the ocean’s biological pump, which exports organic carbon from the euphotic zone — the well-lit, upper ocean — through sinking particulate matter, largely from zooplankton feces and aggregates of algae. Once these le...

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