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Primary and new production in the thermocline ridge region of the southern Indian Ocean during the summer monsoon

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New and primary production, measured using 15N and 13C tracers, integrated over the euphotic zone (mostly upper 80–100 m) varied from 7.5 to 14.1 mmol N m–2d–1(average 10.8 mmol N m–2d–1) and 2.7 to 17.7 mmol C m–2d–1 (average 11.3 mmol C m–2d–1), respectively, in the tropical India Ocean (TIO). Shoaling of thermocline in the thermocline ridge located in the tropical Indian Ocean (TR) influences new and total productivity by supplying nutrients to the upper layers. At the same time, N-limited conditions prevail to the north of the TR region reducing biological productivity. While higher surface light intensity reduces the surface productivity, it enhances the overall depth-integrated productivity. Productivity at different locations within the region is primarily controlled by the supply of N-nutrients from below. In contrast, at a given location with the available nutrient pool, productivity at different depths is determined by light availability. The region has potential for moderate export production, as do the other parts of the Indian Ocean; the maximum possible f-ratio is found to be 0.56, suggesting that it is capable of exporting a significant part of the total production to the deep, under favorable conditions (i.e., availability of N-nutrients). A comparison with earlier data suggests no significant temporal trend in the productivity here over the past three decades.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2012

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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