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Non-belspo (2000-2003)

IRONAGES - Iron Resources and oceanic nutrients-Advancement of Global Environment Simulations

Project description

The work outlined seeked to better model marine ecosystems and the sources and sinks of C, N and other elements within those systems, assuming that a number of factors (notably light, N, P, Si, Fe) are co-limiting plankton blooms. This goal had to be achieved through a combination of laboratory experiments, fieldwork and modelling. Laboratory work targeted the predominant algal species of the major taxonomic groups to determine their growth as a function of multiple stresses, such as limitations of iron, light and macronutrients. This data had then to be used to refine and improve ocean ecosystem models, with the aim to more accurately replicating observations of the natural system.

New realistic OBCM' s had to be developed for budgeting and exchanges of both CO2 and DMS, implementing

(I) co-limitation by 4 nutrients of 5 major taxonomic classes of phyto-plankton,
(II) DMS (P) pathways,
(III) global iron cycling,
(IV) chemical forms of iron
(V) iron supply into surface waters.

Input from below of iron from anoxic sediments of coastal margins had to be assessed along a 2-D vertical section from Europe into the centre of the north Atlantic. Input from above of Fe (II) dissolved in rainwater from Sahara dust blown over the central Atlantic had to be quantified at sea, and related to observed plankton production, CO2 gas exchange and DMS emission. Different chemical forms of iron had to be analysed and rigorous certification of all Fe in seawater data had to be ensured. For 2 major DMS-producing algal groups the life cycle, Fe limitation, export production, CO2 uptake and DMS emissions had to be synthesised from existing literature and laboratory experiments. Experimental data had to be fed into an ecosystem model. Also DMS (P) pathway modeling had to be carried out being expanded with 3 other groups of algal and DMS (P) pathways. The extended ecosystem model had to provide reliable output for CO2/DMS gas exchange being implemented into two existing OBCM' s. Next climate change scenario' notably changes in Fe inputs, had to be run, with special attention to climatic feedback (warming) on the oceanic cycles and fluxes.

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Project team


Prof. Dr. Ir. H.J.W. de Baar
Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
P.O.Box 59, NL-1790 AB Den Burg
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 222 369465

Involved research group:

Dr. Christiane Lancelot
ESA (Ecologie des Systemes Aquatiques)
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Campus Plaine CP 221
B-1050 Bruxelles

Prof. Dr. Dieter Wolf-Gladrow
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Postfach 12 01 61
D - 27515 Bremerhaven
Federal Republic of Germany

Prof. Tim Jickells
School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia
Norwich NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Prof. Paul Treguer /Prof. Stephane Blain
Institut Universitaire Europeen de la Mer
Technopole Brest-Iroise
Place Copernic

Prof. Paul Worsfold
Department of Environmental Sciences
Plymouth Environmental Research Centre
University of Plymouth
Plymouth PL4 8AA
United Kingdom

Prof. CMG van den Berg
Oceanography Laboratories
Maths and Oceanography Building
University of Liverpool
Liverpool L69 7ZL
United Kingdom

Dr. Winfried Gieskes
University of Groningen
Dept. of Marine Biology
P.O.Box 14, NL-9750 AA Haren
The Netherlands

Dr Diana Ruiz-Pino
Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie Marines (LPCM)
4 Place Jussieu
F-75252 Paris Cedex 05

Dr. Julie La Roche
Institut fuer Meereskunde an der Universitaet Kiel
Duestenbrooker Weg 20
D-24105 Kiel

Prof. Dr. Ernst Maier-Reimer
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Meteorologie
Bundestrasse 55
D-20146 Hamburg

Dr. Patrick Monfray
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement
CE Saclay, Orme des Merisiers
F-91191 Gif sur Yvette

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