Net community production in the North Atlantic Ocean derived from Volunteer Observing Ship data

Clare Ostle, Martin Johnson, Peter Landschützer, Ute Schuster, Susan Hartman, Tom Hull, Carol Robinson

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The magnitude of marine plankton net community production (NCP) is indicative of both the biologically driven exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the surface ocean and the export of organic carbon from the surface ocean to the ocean interior. In this study the seasonal variability in the NCP of five biogeochemical regions in the North Atlantic was determined from measurements of surface water dissolved oxygen and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) sampled from a Volunteer Observing Ship (VOS). The magnitude of NCP derived from dissolved oxygen measurements (NCPinline image) was consistent with previous geochemical estimates of NCP in the North Atlantic, with an average annual NCPinline image of 9.5 ± 6.5 mmol O2 m−2 d−1. Annual NCPinline image did not vary significantly over 35° of latitude and was not significantly different from NCP derived from DIC measurements (NCPDIC). The relatively simple method described here is applicable to any VOS route on which surface water dissolved oxygen concentrations can be accurately measured, thus providing estimates of NCP at higher spatial and temporal resolution than currently achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-95
Number of pages16
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • marine plankton
  • net community production
  • dissolved oxygen
  • dissolved inorganic carbon
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Volunteer Observing Ship

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