Title

Nitrogen Dynamics at the VERTEX Time-Series Site

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-1992

Department

Marine Science

Abstract

Euphotic zone concentrations and fluxes of nitrate, ammonium, particulate and dissolved organic nitrogen were measured over an 18 month period at the VERTEX time-series site in the oligotrophic northeast Pacific (33-degrees-N, 139-degrees-W). Variations in all N-forms were significant but not clearly linked to the temporal hydrographic cycle. Inorganic-N uptake (nitrate + ammonium) from N-15 tracer experiments generally paralleled primary productivity variations, peaking in summer; ammonium accounted for most of the uptake (approximately 90%) and temporal variability. Comparisons of N-15 results with estimates of autotrophic N-uptake from C-14 incorporation into protein suggest that as much as 40% of the annual inorganic-N uptake was due to microheterotrophs; peak heterotrophic N-uptake occurred in summer when heterotrophic biomass was at its maximum. Nitrate uptake (new production) was less variable than ammonium uptake and annually equivalent to particulate nitrogen export from sediment traps. Dissolved organic-N (DON) represented the largest and most variable N-pool, accounting for 80-90% of the total nitrogen in the euphotic zone. Vertical DON gradients, however, were small and temporally invariant, implying little contribution to the biogenic nitrogen export from the euphotic zone.

Publication Title

Deep-Sea Research Part A: Oceanographic Research Papers

Volume

39

Issue

9A

First Page

1535

Last Page

1552