Bathypelagic fauna as a main driver of carbon sequestration in the ocean
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AuthorsHernández-León, S. (Santiago); Koppelmann, R. (Rolf); Fraile-Nuez, E. (Eugenio); Irigoien, X. (Xabier); Olivar, M.P. (María Pilar); Bode, A. (Antonio); Echevarría, F. (Fidel); Fernández-de-Puelles, M.L. (María Luz); González-Gordillo, J.I. (Juan Ignacio); Cózar, A. (Andrés); Acuña, J.L. (José Luis); Agustí, S. (Susana); Duarte, C.M. (Carlos Manuel)
Sequestration, in contrast to export, is a mechanism of the biological pump occurring when carbon cannot return to the atmosphere in at least 100 years, normally the carbon transported below 1000 m depth. Pelagic fauna release carbon at depth through respiration, egestion, excretion, moulting, lipid consumption and mortality supporting deep-sea food webs. Knowledge about this transport in the mesopelagic layer is growing. However, the role of the pelagic fauna to fuel the bathypelagic zone, the layer where effective carbon sequestration occurs, is largely unknown. Here we report net zooplankton biomass in the meso- and bathypelagic zones showing significant relationships with primary production (PP) at a global scale during the Malaspina Circumnavigation Expedition. We also reviewed available data on zooplankton biomass at the different biogeographical provinces also showing significant correlations with large-scale estimates of PP, implying the transference of a significant fraction of ...
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