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N2 fixation rate and diazotroph community structure in the western tropical North Pacific Ocean (WTNP)
Run Zhang, Dongsheng Zhang, Min Chen, Zhibing Jiang, Chunsheng Wang, Minfang Zheng, Yusheng Qiu, Jie Huang
In the present study, we report N2 fixation rate (15N isotope tracer assay) and the diazotroph community structure (using the molecular method) in the western tropical North Pacific Ocean (WTNP) (13–20°N, 120–160°E). Our independent evidence on the basis of both in situ N2 fixation activity and diazotroph community structure showed the dominance of unicellular N2 fixation over majority of the WTNP surface waters during the sampling periods. Moreover, a shift in the diazotrophic composition from unicellular cyanobacteria group B-dominated to Trichodesmium spp.-dominated toward the western boundary current (Kuroshio) was also observed in 2013. We hypothesize that nutrient availability may have played a major role in regulating the biogeography of N2 fixation. In surface waters, volumetric N2 fixation rate (calculated by nitrogen) ranged between 0.6 and 2.6 nmol/(L·d) and averaged (1.2±0.5) nmol/(L·d), with <0 μm size fraction contributed predominantly (88%±6%) to the total rate between 135°E and 160°E. Depth-integrated N2 fixation rate over the upper 200 m ranged between 150 μmol/(m2·d) and 480 μmol/(m2·d) (average (225±105) μmol/(m2·d). N2 fixation can account for 6.2%±3.7% of the depth-integrated primary production, suggesting that N2 fixation is a significant N source sustaining new and export production in the WTNP. The role of N2 fixation in biogeochemical cycling in this climate change-vulnerable region calls for further investigations.
key words: western tropical North Pacific Ocean (WTNP), N2 fixation, 15N isotope tracer assay, unicellular diazotroph
Nitrogen uptake regime regulated by ice melting during austral summer in the Prydz Bay, Antarctica
Run Zhang, Qiang Ma, Min Chen, Minfang Zheng, Jianping Cao, Yusheng Qiu
doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1434-2
Using a combination of stable isotope (15N) and radionuclide (226Ra) analyses, we examine possible controls on the interactions between melting ice and the uptake of nitrogen in the Prydz Bay during the 2006 austral summer. We find that specific rates of uptake for nitrate and ammonium correlate positively to their concentrations, thus suggesting a substrate effect. In the study area, we observe that regions along open, oceanic water have high f-ratios (nitrate uptake/nitrate+ammonium uptake), while areas near the Amery Ice Shelf have significantly low f-ratios. Further analysis reveals a negative correlation between the f-ratio and the melt water fraction, thus implying that the melting of ice plays an essential role in regulating pelagic N dynamics in the Southern Ocean (SO). Stratification, produced by melting ice, should profoundly affect the efficiency of the SO’s biological pump and consequently affect the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Results presented in this study add information to an already significant base of understanding of the controls on pelagic C and N dynamics in the SO. This provides unique insights for either interpreting past changes in geologic records or for predicting future climate change trends.
key words: nitrogen uptake regime, ice melting, Prydz Bay, Antarctica

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