Climatically sensitive transfer of iron to maritime Antarctic ecosystems by surface runoff

Hodson, Andy, Nowak, Aga, Sabacka, Marie, Jungblut, Anne, Navarro, Francisco, Pearce, David, Ávila-Jiménez, María, Convey, Peter and Vieira, Gonçalo (2017) Climatically sensitive transfer of iron to maritime Antarctic ecosystems by surface runoff. Nature Communications, 8. p. 14499. ISSN 2041-1723

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14499

Abstract

Iron supplied by glacial weathering results in pronounced hotspots of biological production in an otherwise iron-limited Southern Ocean Ecosystem. However, glacial iron inputs are thought to be dominated by icebergs. Here we show that surface runoff from three island groups of the maritime Antarctic exports more filterable (<0.45 μm) iron (6–81 kg km−2 a−1) than icebergs (0.0–1.2 kg km−2 a−1). Glacier-fed streams also export more acid-soluble iron (27.0–18,500 kg km−2 a−1) associated with suspended sediment than icebergs (0–241 kg km−2 a−1). Significant fluxes of filterable and sediment-derived iron (1–10 Gg a−1 and 100–1,000 Gg a−1, respectively) are therefore likely to be delivered by runoff from the Antarctic continent. Although estuarine removal processes will greatly reduce their availability to coastal ecosystems, our results clearly indicate that riverine iron fluxes need to be accounted for as the volume of Antarctic melt increases in response to 21st century climate change.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F700 Ocean Sciences
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2017 15:13
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2017 07:06
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/30039

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