Impact of intensifying nitrogen limitation on ocean net primary production is fingerprinted by nitrogen isotopes - Sorbonne Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Nature Communications Year : 2021

Impact of intensifying nitrogen limitation on ocean net primary production is fingerprinted by nitrogen isotopes

Abstract

The open ocean nitrogen cycle is being altered by increases in anthropogenic atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate change. How the nitrogen cycle responds will determine long-term trends in net primary production (NPP) in the nitrogen-limited low latitude ocean, but is poorly constrained by uncertainty in how the source-sink balance will evolve. Here we show that intensifying nitrogen limitation of phytoplankton, associated with near-term reductions in NPP, causes detectable declines in nitrogen isotopes (δ15N) and constitutes the primary perturbation of the 21st century nitrogen cycle. Model experiments show that~75% of the low latitude twilight zone develops anomalously low δ15N by 2060, predominantly due to the effects of climate change that alter ocean circulation, with implications for the nitrogen source-sink balance. Our results highlight that δ15N changes in the low latitude twilight zone may provide a useful constraint on emerging changes to nitrogen limitation and NPP over the 21st century.
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Dates and versions

hal-03417303 , version 1 (05-11-2021)

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Pearse J. Buchanan, Olivier Aumont, Laurent Bopp, Claire Mahaffey, Alessandro Tagliabue. Impact of intensifying nitrogen limitation on ocean net primary production is fingerprinted by nitrogen isotopes. Nature Communications, 2021, 12 (1), pp.6214. ⟨10.1038/s41467-021-26552-w⟩. ⟨hal-03417303⟩
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