j: deep ocean communities impacted…

​title{Deep ocean communities impacted by changing climate over 24 y in the abyssal northeast Pacific Ocean


    Kenneth L. Smith, Jr.

    Henry A. Ruhl

    Mati Kahru

    Christine L. Huffard

    Alana D. Sherman

    Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA 95039;


    Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems Group, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton Waterfront Campus, Southampton SO14 3ZH, United Kingdom;


    Integrative Oceanography Department, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093


    Edited by David M. Karl, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, and approved October 8, 2013 (received for review August 14, 2013) 


Full text(html): http://m.pnas.org/content/110/49/19838.full

Supplemental information: http://m.pnas.org/content/110/49/19838/suppl/DCSupplemental

The deep ocean, covering a vast expanse of the globe, relies almost exclusively on a food supply originating from primary production in surface waters. With well-documented warming of oceanic surface waters and conflicting reports of increasing and decreasing primary production trends, questions persist about how such changes impact deep ocean communities. A 24-y time-series study of sinking particulate organic carbon (food) supply and its utilization by the benthic community was conducted in the abyssal northeast Pacific (∼4,000-m depth). Here we show that previous findings of food deficits are now punctuated by large episodic surpluses of particulate organic carbon reaching the sea floor, which meet utilization. Changing surface ocean conditions are translated to the deep ocean, where decadal peaks in supply, remineralization, and sequestration of organic carbon have broad implications for global carbon budget projections. 


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