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Journal Article

Abundances and test weights of living planktic foraminifers across the Southwest Indian Ocean: Implications for carbon fluxes


Schiebel,  R.
Climate Geochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Meilland, J., Schiebel, R., Monaco, C. L., Sanchez, S., & Howa, H. (2018). Abundances and test weights of living planktic foraminifers across the Southwest Indian Ocean: Implications for carbon fluxes. Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers, 131, 27-40. doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2017.11.004.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-9005-2
Calcifying marine organisms include planktic foraminifers that contribute to the marine carbon turnover by generating inorganic carbon production (CaCO3, shell) and flux. In this study, we have analyzed assemblages at the morphospecies level and abundances of living planktic foraminifers (LPF) from ten stations located in the Southwest Indian Ocean, and sampled in austral summer 2012. LPF density ranges from zero in the Subtropical Zone (STZ) to 944 individuals m−3 in the Polar Frontal Zone (PFZ), and is composed by up to 80% by the four species Neogloboquadrina pachyderma, Neogloboquadrina incompta, Globigerina bulloides, and Globigerinita uvula. For the entire region, we measured the individual morphometry and test mass (CaCO3) of 454 tests of living planktic foraminifers in order to calculate inorganic carbon standing stocks, as well as carbon flux. In the STZ, the average daily planktic foraminifer CaCO3 flux at 100 m water depth is low (< 0.22 mg m−2 d−1), whereas south of the Sub-Antarctic Zone (SAZ), in the PFZ and Antarctic Zone (AAZ), it reaches up to 49.41 mg m−2 d−1, and 2.20 mg m−2 d−1, respectively. The large regional variability in CaCO3 production and flux of LPF assemblages affects the marine carbonate system to varying degrees, depending on hydrological conditions. We conclude that recent changes in the position of hydrological fronts could induce a decrease in the LPF-related carbonate counter pump, which increases the oceanic uptake of CO2, and counteracts climate warming.