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163 Research products

  • European Marine Science
  • 2014-2023
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  • Biogeosciences (BG)

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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Bartsch Annett; Widhalm Barbara; Kuhry Peter; Hugelius Gustaf; +2 Authors

    A new approach for the estimation of soil organic carbon (SOC) pools north of the tree line has been developed based on synthetic aperture radar (SAR; ENVISAT Advanced SAR Global Monitoring mode) data. SOC values are directly determined from backscatter values instead of upscaling using land cover or soil classes. The multi-mode capability of SAR allows application across scales. It can be shown that measurements in C band under frozen conditions represent vegetation and surface structure properties which relate to soil properties, specifically SOC. It is estimated that at least 29 Pg C is stored in the upper 30 cm of soils north of the tree line. This is approximately 25 % less than stocks derived from the soil-map-based Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (NCSCD). The total stored carbon is underestimated since the established empirical relationship is not valid for peatlands or strongly cryoturbated soils. The approach does, however, provide the first spatially consistent account of soil organic carbon across the Arctic. Furthermore, it could be shown that values obtained from 1 km resolution SAR correspond to accounts based on a high spatial resolution (2 m) land cover map over a study area of about 7 × 7 km in NE Siberia. The approach can be also potentially transferred to medium-resolution C-band SAR data such as ENVISAT ASAR Wide Swath with ∼ 120 m resolution but it is in general limited to regions without woody vegetation. Global Monitoring-mode-derived SOC increases with unfrozen period length. This indicates the importance of this parameter for modelling of the spatial distribution of soil organic carbon storage.

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    Authors: Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.; Frölicher, T. L.; Bopp, L.; +8 Authors

    Changes in marine net primary productivity (PP) and export of particulate organic carbon (EP) are projected over the 21st century with four global coupled carbon cycle-climate models. These include representations of marine ecosystems and the carbon cycle of different structure and complexity. All four models show a decrease in global mean PP and EP between 2 and 20% by 2100 relative to preindustrial conditions, for the SRES A2 emission scenario. Two different regimes for productivity changes are consistently identified in all models. The first chain of mechanisms is dominant in the low- and mid-latitude ocean and in the North Atlantic: reduced input of macro-nutrients into the euphotic zone related to enhanced stratification, reduced mixed layer depth, and slowed circulation causes a decrease in macro-nutrient concentrations and in PP and EP. The second regime is projected for parts of the Southern Ocean: an alleviation of light and/or temperature limitation leads to an increase in PP and EP as productivity is fueled by a sustained nutrient input. A region of disagreement among the models is the Arctic, where three models project an increase in PP while one model projects a decrease. Projected changes in seasonal and interannual variability are modest in most regions. Regional model skill metrics are proposed to generate multi-model mean fields that show an improved skill in representing observation-based estimates compared to a simple multi-model average. Model results are compared to recent productivity projections with three different algorithms, usually applied to infer net primary production from satellite observations.

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    Authors: Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.; Frölicher, T. L.; Plattner, G.-K.; +1 Authors

    Ocean acidification from the uptake of anthropogenic carbon is simulated for the industrial period and IPCC SRES emission scenarios A2 and B1 with a global coupled carbon cycle-climate model. Earlier studies identified seawater saturation state with respect to aragonite, a mineral phase of calcium carbonate, as a key variable governing impacts on corals and other shell-forming organisms. Globally in the A2 scenario, water saturated by more than 300%, considered suitable for coral growth, vanishes by 2070 AD (CO2≈630 ppm), and the ocean volume fraction occupied by saturated water decreases from 42% to 25% over this century. The largest simulated pH changes worldwide occur in Arctic surface waters, where hydrogen ion concentration increases by up to 185% (ΔpH=−0.45). Projected climate change amplifies the decrease in Arctic surface mean saturation and pH by more than 20%, mainly due to freshening and increased carbon uptake in response to sea ice retreat. Modeled saturation compares well with observation-based estimates along an Arctic transect and simulated changes have been corrected for remaining model-data differences in this region. Aragonite undersaturation in Arctic surface waters is projected to occur locally within a decade and to become more widespread as atmospheric CO2 continues to grow. The results imply that surface waters in the Arctic Ocean will become corrosive to aragonite, with potentially large implications for the marine ecosystem, if anthropogenic carbon emissions are not reduced and atmospheric CO2 not kept below 450 ppm.

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    Authors: Geerlings, Nicole M. J.; Zetsche, Eva-Maria; Hidalgo-Martinez, Silvia; Middelburg, Jack J.; +1 Authors

    Cable bacteria are multicellular, filamentous microorganisms that are capable of transporting electrons over centimeter-scale distances. Although recently discovered, these bacteria appear to be widely present in the seafloor, and when active they exert a strong imprint on the local geochemistry. In particular, their electrogenic metabolism induces unusually strong pH excursions in aquatic sediments, which induces considerable mineral dissolution, and subsequent mineral reprecipitation. However, at present, it is unknown whether and how cable bacteria play an active or direct role in the mineral reprecipitation process. To this end we present an explorative study of the formation of sedimentary minerals in and near filamentous cable bacteria using a combined approach of electron microscopy and spectroscopic techniques. Our observations reveal the formation of polyphosphate granules within the cells and two different types of biomineral formation directly associated with multicellular filaments of these cable bacteria: (i) the attachment and incorporation of clay particles in a coating surrounding the bacteria and (ii) encrustation of the cell envelope by iron minerals. These findings suggest a complex interaction between cable bacteria and the surrounding sediment matrix, and a substantial imprint of the electrogenic metabolism on mineral diagenesis and sedimentary biogeochemical cycling. In particular, the encrustation process leaves many open questions for further research. For example, we hypothesize that the complete encrustation of filaments might create a diffusion barrier and negatively impact the metabolism of the cable bacteria.

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    Authors: Lenton, A.; Tilbrook, B.; Law, R. M.; Bakker, D.; +13 Authors

    The Southern Ocean (44–75° S) plays a critical role in the global carbon cycle, yet remains one of the most poorly sampled ocean regions. Different approaches have been used to estimate sea–air CO2 fluxes in this region: synthesis of surface ocean observations, ocean biogeochemical models, and atmospheric and ocean inversions. As part of the RECCAP (REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes) project, we combine these different approaches to quantify and assess the magnitude and variability in Southern Ocean sea–air CO2 fluxes between 1990–2009. Using all models and inversions (26), the integrated median annual sea–air CO2 flux of −0.42 ± 0.07 Pg C yr−1 for the 44–75° S region, is consistent with the −0.27 ± 0.13 Pg C yr−1 calculated using surface observations. The circumpolar region south of 58° S has a small net annual flux (model and inversion median: −0.04 ± 0.07 Pg C yr−1 and observations: +0.04 ± 0.02 Pg C yr−1), with most of the net annual flux located in the 44 to 58° S circumpolar band (model and inversion median: −0.36 ± 0.09 Pg C yr−1 and observations: −0.35 ± 0.09 Pg C yr−1). Seasonally, in the 44–58° S region, the median of 5 ocean biogeochemical models captures the observed sea–air CO2 flux seasonal cycle, while the median of 11 atmospheric inversions shows little seasonal change in the net flux. South of 58° S, neither atmospheric inversions nor ocean biogeochemical models reproduce the phase and amplitude of the observed seasonal sea–air CO2 flux, particularly in the Austral Winter. Importantly, no individual atmospheric inversion or ocean biogeochemical model is capable of reproducing both the observed annual mean uptake and the observed seasonal cycle. This raises concerns about projecting future changes in Southern Ocean CO2 fluxes. The median interannual variability from atmospheric inversions and ocean biogeochemical models is substantial in the Southern Ocean; up to 25% of the annual mean flux, with 25% of this interannual variability attributed to the region south of 58° S. Resolving long-term trends is difficult due to the large interannual variability and short time frame (1990–2009) of this study; this is particularly evident from the large spread in trends from inversions and ocean biogeochemical models. Nevertheless, in the period 1990–2009 ocean biogeochemical models do show increasing oceanic uptake consistent with the expected increase of −0.05 Pg C yr−1 decade−1. In contrast, atmospheric inversions suggest little change in the strength of the CO2 sink broadly consistent with the results of Le Quéré et al. (2007).

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    Authors: Glock Nicolaas; Eisenhauer Anton; Liebetrau Volker; Wiedenbeck M; +2 Authors

    In this study we present an initial dataset of Mn/Ca and Fe/Ca ratios in tests of benthic foraminifera from the Peruvian oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) determined with SIMS. These results are a contribution to a better understanding of the proxy potential of these elemental ratios for ambient redox conditions. Foraminiferal tests are often contaminated by diagenetic coatings, like Mn rich carbonate- or Fe and Mn rich (oxyhydr)oxide coatings. Thus, it is substantial to assure that the cleaning protocols are efficient or that spots chosen for microanalyses are free of contaminants. Prior to the determination of the element/Ca ratios, the distributions of several elements (Ca, Mn, Fe, Mg, Ba, Al, Si, P and S) in tests of the shallow infaunal species Uvigerina peregrina and Bolivina spissa were mapped with an electron microprobe (EMP). To visualize the effects of cleaning protocols uncleaned and cleaned specimens were compared. The cleaning protocol included an oxidative cleaning step. An Fe rich phase was found on the inner test surface of uncleaned U. peregrina specimens. This phase was also enriched in Al, Si, P and S. A similar Fe rich phase was found at the inner test surface of B. spissa. Specimens of both species treated with oxidative cleaning show the absence of this phase. Neither in B. spissa nor in U. peregrina were any hints found for diagenetic (oxyhydr)oxide or carbonate coatings. Mn/Ca and Fe/Ca ratios of single specimens of B. spissa from different locations have been determined by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). Bulk analyses using solution ICP-MS of several samples were compared to the SIMS data. The difference between SIMS analyses and ICP-MS bulk analyses from the same sampling sites was 14.0–134.8 μmol mol−1 for the Fe/Ca and 1.68(±0.41) μmol mol−1 for the Mn/Ca ratios. This is in the same order of magnitude as the variability inside single specimens determined with SIMS at these sampling sites (1σ[Mn/Ca] = 0.35–2.07 μmol mol−1; 1σ[Fe/Ca] = 93.9–188.4 μmol mol−1). The Mn/Ca ratios in the calcite were generally relatively low (2.21–9.93 μmol mol−1) but in the same magnitude and proportional to the surrounding pore waters (1.37–6.67 μmol mol−1). However, the Fe/Ca ratios in B. spissa show a negative correlation to the concentrations in the surrounding pore waters. Lowest foraminiferal Fe/Ca ratios (87.0–101.0 μmol mol−1) were found at 465 m water depth, a location with a strong sharp Fe peak in the pore water next to the sediment surface and respectively, high Fe concentrations in the surrounding pore waters. Previous studies found no living specimens of B. spissa at this location. All these facts hint that the analysed specimens already were dead before the Fe flux started and the sampling site just recently turned anoxic due to fluctuations of the lower boundary of the OMZ near the sampling site (465 m water depth). Summarized Mn/Ca and Fe/Ca ratios are potential proxies for redox conditions, if cleaning protocols are carefully applied. The data presented here may be rated as base for the still pending detailed calibration.

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    Authors: Moel, H.; Ganssen, G. M.; Peeters, F. J. C.; Jung, S. J. A.; +3 Authors

    About one third of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere in the past two centuries has been taken up by the ocean. As CO2 invades the surface ocean, carbonate ion concentrations and pH are lowered. Laboratory studies indicate that this reduces the calcification rates of marine calcifying organisms, including planktic foraminifera. Such a reduction in calcification resulting from anthropogenic CO2 emissions has not been observed, or quantified in the field yet. Here we present the findings of a study in the Western Arabian Sea that uses shells of the surface water dwelling planktic foraminifer Globigerinoides ruber in order to test the hypothesis that anthropogenically induced acidification has reduced shell calcification of this species. We found that light, thin-walled shells from the surface sediment are younger (based on 14C and δ13C measurements) than the heavier, thicker-walled shells. Shells in the upper, bioturbated, sediment layer were significantly lighter compared to shells found below this layer. These observations are consistent with a scenario where anthropogenically induced ocean acidification reduced the rate at which foraminifera calcify, resulting in lighter shells. On the other hand, we show that seasonal upwelling in the area also influences their calcification and the stable isotope (δ13C and δ18O) signatures recorded by the foraminifera shells. Plankton tow and sediment trap data show that lighter shells were produced during upwelling and heavier ones during non-upwelling periods. Seasonality alone, however, cannot explain the 14C results, or the increase in shell weight below the bioturbated sediment layer. We therefore must conclude that probably both the processes of acidification and seasonal upwelling are responsible for the presence of light shells in the top of the sediment and the age difference between thick and thin specimens.

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    Authors: Milzer, G.; Giraudeau, J.; Faust, J.; Knies, J.; +2 Authors

    Instrumental records from the Norwegian Sea and the Trondheimsfjord show evidence that changes of bottom water temperature and salinity in the fjord are linked to the salinity and temperature variability of the North Atlantic Current (NAC). Changes in primary productivity and salinity in the surface and intermediate water masses in the Trondheimsfjord as well as the fjord sedimentary budget are mainly driven by changes in riverine input. In this study we use 59 surface sediment samples that are evenly distributed in the fjord to examine whether dinocyst assemblages and stable isotope ratios of benthic foraminifera reflect the present-day hydrology and can be used as palaeoceanographic proxies. In general, modern benthic δ18O and δ13C values decrease from the fjord entrance towards the fjord head with lowest values close to river inlets. This is essentially explained by gradients in the amounts of fresh water and terrigenous organic matter delivered from the hinterland. The distribution of benthic δ13C ratios across the fjord is controlled by the origin (terrigenous vs. marine) of organic matter, local topography-induced variability in organic matter flux at the water–sediment interface, and organic matter degradation. The dinocyst assemblages display the variations in hydrography with respect to the prevailing currents, the topography, and the freshwater and nutrient supply from rivers. The strength and depth of the pycnocline in the fjord strongly vary seasonally and thereby affect water mass characteristics as well as nutrient availability, temporally creating local conditions that explain the observed species distribution. Our results prove that dinocyst assemblages and benthic foraminiferal isotopes reliably mirror the complex fjord hydrology and can be used as proxies of Holocene climatic variability.

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    Authors: Mogollón, J. M.; Dale, A. W.; Fossing, H.; Regnier, P.;

    Arkona Basin (southwestern Baltic Sea) is a seasonally-hypoxic basin characterized by the presence of free methane gas in its youngest organic-rich muddy stratum. Through the use of reactive transport models, this study tracks the development of the methane geochemistry in Arkona Basin as this muddy sediment became deposited during the last 8 kyr. Four cores are modeled each pertaining to a unique geochemical scenario according to their respective contemporary geochemical profiles. Ultimately the thickness of the muddy sediment and the flux of particulate organic carbon are crucial in determining the advent of both methanogenesis and free methane gas, the timescales over which methanogenesis takes over as a dominant reaction pathway for organic matter degradation, and the timescales required for free methane gas to form.

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    Authors: Coffinet Sarah; Meador Travis; Mühlena Lukas; Becker Kevin W; +6 Authors

    Butanetriol and pentanetriol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (BDGTs and PDGTs) are membrane lipids, recently discovered in sedimentary environments and in the methanogenic archaeon Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis. They possess an unusual structure, which challenges fundamental assumptions in lipid biochemistry. Indeed, they bear a butanetriol or a pentanetriol backbone instead of a glycerol at one end of their core structure. In this study, we unambiguously located the additional methyl group of the BDGT compound on the C3 carbon of the lipid backbone via high-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments. We further systematically explored the abundance, distribution and isotopic composition of BDGTs and PDGTs as both intact polar and core lipid forms in marine sediments collected in contrasting environments of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea. High proportions of intact polar BDGTs and PDGTs in the deeper methane-laden sedimentary layers and relatively 13C-depleted BDGTs, especially in the Rhone Delta and in the Black Sea, are in agreement with a probable methanogenic source for these lipids. However, contributions from heterotrophic Archaea to BDGTs (and PDGTs) cannot be excluded, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and contrasting BDGT and PDGT headgroup distribution patterns were observed between the different sites studied. This points to additional, non-methanogenic, archaeal sources for these lipids.

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    Authors: Bartsch Annett; Widhalm Barbara; Kuhry Peter; Hugelius Gustaf; +2 Authors

    A new approach for the estimation of soil organic carbon (SOC) pools north of the tree line has been developed based on synthetic aperture radar (SAR; ENVISAT Advanced SAR Global Monitoring mode) data. SOC values are directly determined from backscatter values instead of upscaling using land cover or soil classes. The multi-mode capability of SAR allows application across scales. It can be shown that measurements in C band under frozen conditions represent vegetation and surface structure properties which relate to soil properties, specifically SOC. It is estimated that at least 29 Pg C is stored in the upper 30 cm of soils north of the tree line. This is approximately 25 % less than stocks derived from the soil-map-based Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (NCSCD). The total stored carbon is underestimated since the established empirical relationship is not valid for peatlands or strongly cryoturbated soils. The approach does, however, provide the first spatially consistent account of soil organic carbon across the Arctic. Furthermore, it could be shown that values obtained from 1 km resolution SAR correspond to accounts based on a high spatial resolution (2 m) land cover map over a study area of about 7 × 7 km in NE Siberia. The approach can be also potentially transferred to medium-resolution C-band SAR data such as ENVISAT ASAR Wide Swath with ∼ 120 m resolution but it is in general limited to regions without woody vegetation. Global Monitoring-mode-derived SOC increases with unfrozen period length. This indicates the importance of this parameter for modelling of the spatial distribution of soil organic carbon storage.

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    Authors: Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.; Frölicher, T. L.; Bopp, L.; +8 Authors

    Changes in marine net primary productivity (PP) and export of particulate organic carbon (EP) are projected over the 21st century with four global coupled carbon cycle-climate models. These include representations of marine ecosystems and the carbon cycle of different structure and complexity. All four models show a decrease in global mean PP and EP between 2 and 20% by 2100 relative to preindustrial conditions, for the SRES A2 emission scenario. Two different regimes for productivity changes are consistently identified in all models. The first chain of mechanisms is dominant in the low- and mid-latitude ocean and in the North Atlantic: reduced input of macro-nutrients into the euphotic zone related to enhanced stratification, reduced mixed layer depth, and slowed circulation causes a decrease in macro-nutrient concentrations and in PP and EP. The second regime is projected for parts of the Southern Ocean: an alleviation of light and/or temperature limitation leads to an increase in PP and EP as productivity is fueled by a sustained nutrient input. A region of disagreement among the models is the Arctic, where three models project an increase in PP while one model projects a decrease. Projected changes in seasonal and interannual variability are modest in most regions. Regional model skill metrics are proposed to generate multi-model mean fields that show an improved skill in representing observation-based estimates compared to a simple multi-model average. Model results are compared to recent productivity projections with three different algorithms, usually applied to infer net primary production from satellite observations.

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    Authors: Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.; Frölicher, T. L.; Plattner, G.-K.; +1 Authors

    Ocean acidification from the uptake of anthropogenic carbon is simulated for the industrial period and IPCC SRES emission scenarios A2 and B1 with a global coupled carbon cycle-climate model. Earlier studies identified seawater saturation state with respect to aragonite, a mineral phase of calcium carbonate, as a key variable governing impacts on corals and other shell-forming organisms. Globally in the A2 scenario, water saturated by more than 300%, considered suitable for coral growth, vanishes by 2070 AD (CO2≈630 ppm), and the ocean volume fraction occupied by saturated water decreases from 42% to 25% over this century. The largest simulated pH changes worldwide occur in Arctic surface waters, where hydrogen ion concentration increases by up to 185% (ΔpH=−0.45). Projected climate change amplifies the decrease in Arctic surface mean saturation and pH by more than 20%, mainly due to freshening and increased carbon uptake in response to sea ice retreat. Modeled saturation compares well with observation-based estimates along an Arctic transect and simulated changes have been corrected for remaining model-data differences in this region. Aragonite undersaturation in Arctic surface waters is projected to occur locally within a decade and to become more widespread as atmospheric CO2 continues to grow. The results imply that surface waters in the Arctic Ocean will become corrosive to aragonite, with potentially large implications for the marine ecosystem, if anthropogenic carbon emissions are not reduced and atmospheric CO2 not kept below 450 ppm.

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    Authors: Geerlings, Nicole M. J.; Zetsche, Eva-Maria; Hidalgo-Martinez, Silvia; Middelburg, Jack J.; +1 Authors

    Cable bacteria are multicellular, filamentous microorganisms that are capable of transporting electrons over centimeter-scale distances. Although recently discovered, these bacteria appear to be widely present in the seafloor, and when active they exert a strong imprint on the local geochemistry. In particular, their electrogenic metabolism induces unusually strong pH excursions in aquatic sediments, which induces considerable mineral dissolution, and subsequent mineral reprecipitation. However, at present, it is unknown whether and how cable bacteria play an active or direct role in the mineral reprecipitation process. To this end we present an explorative study of the formation of sedimentary minerals in and near filamentous cable bacteria using a combined approach of electron microscopy and spectroscopic techniques. Our observations reveal the formation of polyphosphate granules within the cells and two different types of biomineral formation directly associated with multicellular filaments of these cable bacteria: (i) the attachment and incorporation of clay particles in a coating surrounding the bacteria and (ii) encrustation of the cell envelope by iron minerals. These findings suggest a complex interaction between cable bacteria and the surrounding sediment matrix, and a substantial imprint of the electrogenic metabolism on mineral diagenesis and sedimentary biogeochemical cycling. In particular, the encrustation process leaves many open questions for further research. For example, we hypothesize that the complete encrustation of filaments might create a diffusion barrier and negatively impact the metabolism of the cable bacteria.

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    Authors: Lenton, A.; Tilbrook, B.; Law, R. M.; Bakker, D.; +13 Authors

    The Southern Ocean (44–75° S) plays a critical role in the global carbon cycle, yet remains one of the most poorly sampled ocean regions. Different approaches have been used to estimate sea–air CO2 fluxes in this region: synthesis of surface ocean observations, ocean biogeochemical models, and atmospheric and ocean inversions. As part of the RECCAP (REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes) project, we combine these different approaches to quantify and assess the magnitude and variability in Southern Ocean sea–air CO2 fluxes between 1990–2009. Using all models and inversions (26), the integrated median annual sea–air CO2 flux of −0.42 ± 0.07 Pg C yr−1 for the 44–75° S region, is consistent with the −0.27 ± 0.13 Pg C yr−1 calculated using surface observations. The circumpolar region south of 58° S has a small net annual flux (model and inversion median: −0.04 ± 0.07 Pg C yr−1 and observations: +0.04 ± 0.02 Pg C yr−1), with most of the net annual flux located in the 44 to 58° S circumpolar band (model and inversion median: −0.36 ± 0.09 Pg C yr−1 and observations: −0.35 ± 0.09 Pg C yr−1). Seasonally, in the 44–58° S region, the median of 5 ocean biogeochemical models captures the observed sea–air CO2 flux seasonal cycle, while the median of 11 atmospheric inversions shows little seasonal change in the net flux. South of 58° S, neither atmospheric inversions nor ocean biogeochemical models reproduce the phase and amplitude of the observed seasonal sea–air CO2 flux, particularly in the Austral Winter. Importantly, no individual atmospheric inversion or ocean biogeochemical model is capable of reproducing both the observed annual mean uptake and the observed seasonal cycle. This raises concerns about projecting future changes in Southern Ocean CO2 fluxes. The median interannual variability from atmospheric inversions and ocean biogeochemical models is substantial in the Southern Ocean; up to 25% of the annual mean flux, with 25% of this interannual variability attributed to the region south of 58° S. Resolving long-term trends is difficult due to the large interannual variability and short time frame (1990–2009) of this study; this is particularly evident from the large spread in trends from inversions and ocean biogeochemical models. Nevertheless, in the period 1990–2009 ocean biogeochemical models do show increasing oceanic uptake consistent with the expected increase of −0.05 Pg C yr−1 decade−1. In contrast, atmospheric inversions suggest little change in the strength of the CO2 sink broadly consistent with the results of Le Quéré et al. (2007).

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    Authors: Glock Nicolaas; Eisenhauer Anton; Liebetrau Volker; Wiedenbeck M; +2 Authors

    In this study we present an initial dataset of Mn/Ca and Fe/Ca ratios in tests of benthic foraminifera from the Peruvian oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) determined with SIMS. These results are a contribution to a better understanding of the proxy potential of these elemental ratios for ambient redox conditions. Foraminiferal tests are often contaminated by diagenetic coatings, like Mn rich carbonate- or Fe and Mn rich (oxyhydr)oxide coatings. Thus, it is substantial to assure that the cleaning protocols are efficient or that spots chosen for microanalyses are free of contaminants. Prior to the determination of the element/Ca ratios, the distributions of several elements (Ca, Mn, Fe, Mg, Ba, Al, Si, P and S) in tests of the shallow infaunal species Uvigerina peregrina and Bolivina spissa were mapped with an electron microprobe (EMP). To visualize the effects of cleaning protocols uncleaned and cleaned specimens were compared. The cleaning protocol included an oxidative cleaning step. An Fe rich phase was found on the inner test surface of uncleaned U. peregrina specimens. This phase was also enriched in Al, Si, P and S. A similar Fe rich phase was found at the inner test surface of B. spissa. Specimens of both species treated with oxidative cleaning show the absence of this phase. Neither in B. spissa nor in U. peregrina were any hints found for diagenetic (oxyhydr)oxide or carbonate coatings. Mn/Ca and Fe/Ca ratios of single specimens of B. spissa from different locations have been determined by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). Bulk analyses using solution ICP-MS of several samples were compared to the SIMS data. The difference between SIMS analyses and ICP-MS bulk analyses from the same sampling sites was 14.0–134.8 μmol mol−1 for the Fe/Ca and 1.68(±0.41) μmol mol−1 for the Mn/Ca ratios. This is in the same order of magnitude as the variability inside single specimens determined with SIMS at these sampling sites (1σ[Mn/Ca] = 0.35–2.07 μmol mol−1; 1σ[Fe/Ca] = 93.9–188.4 μmol mol−1). The Mn/Ca ratios in the calcite were generally relatively low (2.21–9.93 μmol mol−1) but in the same magnitude and proportional to the surrounding pore waters (1.37–6.67 μmol mol−1). However, the Fe/Ca ratios in B. spissa show a negative correlation to the concentrations in the surrounding pore waters. Lowest foraminiferal Fe/Ca ratios (87.0–101.0 μmol mol−1) were found at 465 m water depth, a location with a strong sharp Fe peak in the pore water next to the sediment surface and respectively, high Fe concentrations in the surrounding pore waters. Previous studies found no living specimens of B. spissa at this location. All these facts hint that the analysed specimens already were dead before the Fe flux started and the sampling site just recently turned anoxic due to fluctuations of the lower boundary of the OMZ near the sampling site (465 m water depth). Summarized Mn/Ca and Fe/Ca ratios are potential proxies for redox conditions, if cleaning protocols are carefully applied. The data presented here may be rated as base for the still pending detailed calibration.

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    Authors: Moel, H.; Ganssen, G. M.; Peeters, F. J. C.; Jung, S. J. A.; +3 Authors

    About one third of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere in the past two centuries has been taken up by the ocean. As CO2 invades the surface ocean, carbonate ion concentrations and pH are lowered. Laboratory studies indicate that this reduces the calcification rates of marine calcifying organisms, including planktic foraminifera. Such a reduction in calcification resulting from anthropogenic CO2 emissions has not been observed, or quantified in the field yet. Here we present the findings of a study in the Western Arabian Sea that uses shells of the surface water dwelling planktic foraminifer Globigerinoides ruber in order to test the hypothesis that anthropogenically induced acidification has reduced shell calcification of this species. We found that light, thin-walled shells from the surface sediment are younger (based on 14C and δ13C measurements) than the heavier, thicker-walled shells. Shells in the upper, bioturbated, sediment layer were significantly lighter compared to shells found below this layer. These observations are consistent with a scenario where anthropogenically induced ocean acidification reduced the rate at which foraminifera calcify, resulting in lighter shells. On the other hand, we show that seasonal upwelling in the area also influences their calcification and the stable isotope (δ13C and δ18O) signatures recorded by the foraminifera shells. Plankton tow and sediment trap data show that lighter shells were produced during upwelling and heavier ones during non-upwelling periods. Seasonality alone, however, cannot explain the 14C results, or the increase in shell weight below the bioturbated sediment layer. We therefore must conclude that probably both the processes of acidification and seasonal upwelling are responsible for the presence of light shells in the top of the sediment and the age difference between thick and thin specimens.

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    Authors: Milzer, G.; Giraudeau, J.; Faust, J.; Knies, J.; +2 Authors

    Instrumental records from the Norwegian Sea and the Trondheimsfjord show evidence that changes of bottom water temperature and salinity in the fjord are linked to the salinity and temperature variability of the North Atlantic Current (NAC). Changes in primary productivity and salinity in the surface and intermediate water masses in the Trondheimsfjord as well as the fjord sedimentary budget are mainly driven by changes in riverine input. In this study we use 59 surface sediment samples that are evenly distributed in the fjord to examine whether dinocyst assemblages and stable isotope ratios of benthic foraminifera reflect the present-day hydrology and can be used as palaeoceanographic proxies. In general, modern benthic δ18O and δ13C values decrease from the fjord entrance towards the fjord head with lowest values close to river inlets. This is essentially explained by gradients in the amounts of fresh water and terrigenous organic matter delivered from the hinterland. The distribution of benthic δ13C ratios across the fjord is controlled by the origin (terrigenous vs. marine) of organic matter, local topography-induced variability in organic matter flux at the water–sediment interface, and organic matter degradation. The dinocyst assemblages display the variations in hydrography with respect to the prevailing currents, the topography, and the freshwater and nutrient supply from rivers. The strength and depth of the pycnocline in the fjord strongly vary seasonally and thereby affect water mass characteristics as well as nutrient availability, temporally creating local conditions that explain the observed species distribution. Our results prove that dinocyst assemblages and benthic foraminiferal isotopes reliably mirror the complex fjord hydrology and can be used as proxies of Holocene climatic variability.

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    Authors: Mogollón, J. M.; Dale, A. W.; Fossing, H.; Regnier, P.;

    Arkona Basin (southwestern Baltic Sea) is a seasonally-hypoxic basin characterized by the presence of free methane gas in its youngest organic-rich muddy stratum. Through the use of reactive transport models, this study tracks the development of the methane geochemistry in Arkona Basin as this muddy sediment became deposited during the last 8 kyr. Four cores are modeled each pertaining to a unique geochemical scenario according to their respective contemporary geochemical profiles. Ultimately the thickness of the muddy sediment and the flux of particulate organic carbon are crucial in determining the advent of both methanogenesis and free methane gas, the timescales over which methanogenesis takes over as a dominant reaction pathway for organic matter degradation, and the timescales required for free methane gas to form.

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    Authors: Coffinet Sarah; Meador Travis; Mühlena Lukas; Becker Kevin W; +6 Authors

    Butanetriol and pentanetriol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (BDGTs and PDGTs) are membrane lipids, recently discovered in sedimentary environments and in the methanogenic archaeon Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis. They possess an unusual structure, which challenges fundamental assumptions in lipid biochemistry. Indeed, they bear a butanetriol or a pentanetriol backbone instead of a glycerol at one end of their core structure. In this study, we unambiguously located the additional methyl group of the BDGT compound on the C3 carbon of the lipid backbone via high-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments. We further systematically explored the abundance, distribution and isotopic composition of BDGTs and PDGTs as both intact polar and core lipid forms in marine sediments collected in contrasting environments of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea. High proportions of intact polar BDGTs and PDGTs in the deeper methane-laden sedimentary layers and relatively 13C-depleted BDGTs, especially in the Rhone Delta and in the Black Sea, are in agreement with a probable methanogenic source for these lipids. However, contributions from heterotrophic Archaea to BDGTs (and PDGTs) cannot be excluded, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and contrasting BDGT and PDGT headgroup distribution patterns were observed between the different sites studied. This points to additional, non-methanogenic, archaeal sources for these lipids.

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