File Entry: Carbon regeneration in the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela

Created: 2017-12-12 14:59:23
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Version created on: 2017-12-12 14:59:22

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The carbon regeneration in the water column of
the Cariaco Basin (Venezuela) was investigated
using a regression model of total alkalinity (TA)
and the concentration of total inorganic carbon
(TCO2). Primary productivity (PP) was determined
from the inorganic carbon fraction assimilated
by phytoplankton and the variation of the 22 and
23°C isotherm was used as an indicator of coastal
upwelling. The results indicate that CO2 levels were
lowest (1962 μmol/kg) at the surface and increased
to 2451 μmol/kg below the oxic-anoxic redox
interface. The vertical regeneration distribution of
carbon was dominated (82%) by organic carbon
originating from the soft tissue of photosynthetic
organisms, whereas 18% originated from the
dissolution of biogenic calcite. The regeneration
of organic carbon was highest in the surface layer
in agreement with the primary productivity values.
However, at the oxic-anoxic interface a second more
intense maximum was detected (70-80%), generated
by chemotrophic respiration of organic material
by microorganisms. The percentages in the anoxic
layers were lower than in the oxic zone because
aerobic decomposition occurs more rapidly than
anaerobic respiration of organic material because
more labile fractions of organic carbon have already
been mineralized in the upper layers.

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