Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-223
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-223
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: ideas and perspectives 11 Jun 2019

Submitted as: ideas and perspectives | 11 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

Is dark carbon fixation relevant for oceanic primary production estimates?

Federico Baltar1 and Gerhard J. Herndl1,2 Federico Baltar and Gerhard J. Herndl
  • 1Department of Limnology & Bio-Oceanography, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, Vienna, 1090, Austria
  • 2NIOZ, Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Utrecht University, PO Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, The Netherlands

Abstract. About half of the global primary production (PP) is generated in the euphotic layer of the ocean. The 14C method developed by Steemann-Nielsen (Nielsen, 1952) more than half a century ago has been the most frequently used method to determine PP in all aquatic systems. This method includes dark incubations to exclude the non-phototrophic CO2 fixation. The presence of significant dark DIC fixation rates has been habitually used to suggest the inaccuracy of the 14C method to determine autotrophic phytoplankton primary production. However, we suggest that the dark CO2 fixation rates should be incorporated into global oceanic carbon production estimates since the total production of organic matter is not originating only from photosynthesis but also from other processes such as chemoautotrophic and anaplerotic processes. Here we analyzed data collected over almost 30 years from the longest available oceanic time series and calculated that the inclusion of dark dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) fixation would increase oceanic PP estimates by 5–22 % when total dark DIC fixation is included or by 2.5–11 % when only considering the nighttime DIC fixation. We conclude that dark DIC fixation should be included into global oceanic primary production estimates as it represents newly synthesized organic carbon (ca. 1.2–11 Pg C y−1) available for the marine food web.

Federico Baltar and Gerhard J. Herndl
Interactive discussion
Status: open (until 18 Aug 2019)
Status: open (until 18 Aug 2019)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Federico Baltar and Gerhard J. Herndl
Federico Baltar and Gerhard J. Herndl
Viewed  
Total article views: 430 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
327 101 2 430 1 3
  • HTML: 327
  • PDF: 101
  • XML: 2
  • Total: 430
  • BibTeX: 1
  • EndNote: 3
Views and downloads (calculated since 11 Jun 2019)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 11 Jun 2019)
Viewed (geographical distribution)  
Total article views: 428 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 427 with geography defined and 1 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Cited  
Saved  
No saved metrics found.
Discussed  
No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 18 Aug 2019
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Around half of the global primary production (PP) is produced in the ocean. Here we quantified how much oceanic PP estimates would increase if we include the dark DIC fixation rates (which are usually excluded in the 14C method) into the PP estimation. We found that the inclusion of dark DIC fixation would increase PP estimates by 5-22%. This represents ca. 1.2 to 11 Pg C y-1 of newly synthesized organic carbon available for the marine food web.
Around half of the global primary production (PP) is produced in the ocean. Here we quantified...
Citation