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Examining the Interaction Between Free‐Living Bacteria and Iron in the Global Ocean

Anh Le‐Duy Pham 1 Olivier Aumont 1 Lavenia Ratnarajah 2 Alessandro Tagliabue 2 
1 NEMO R&D - Nucleus for European Modeling of the Ocean
LOCEAN - Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat : Expérimentations et Approches Numériques
Abstract : Marine free-living (FL) bacteria play a key role in the cycling of essential biogeochemical elements, including iron (Fe), during their uptake, transformation and release of organic matter throughout the water column. Similar to phytoplankton, the growth of FL bacteria is regulated by nutritive resources such as Fe, and the low availability of these resources may influence bacterial interactions with phytoplankton, causing knock-on effects for biogeochemical cycling. Yet, knowledge of the factors limiting the growth of FL bacteria and their role within the Fe cycle is poorly constrained. Here, we explicitly represent FL, carbon-oxidizing bacteria in a three-dimensional global ocean biogeochemistry model to address these questions. We find that although Fe can emerge as proximally limiting in the tropical Pacific and in high-latitude regions during summer, the growth of FL bacteria is ultimately controlled by the availability of labile dissolved organic carbon over most of the world's oceans. In Fe-limited regions, FL bacterial biomass is sensitive to their Fe uptake capability in seasonally Fe-limitation regions and to their minimum Fe requirements in regions perennially low in Fe. Fe consumption by FL bacteria is significant in the upper ocean in our model, and their competition with phytoplankton for Fe affects phytoplankton growth dynamics and can make bacteria become more carbon limited. The impact of FL bacteria on the Fe distribution in the ocean interior is small due to a tight coupling between Fe uptake and release. Moving forward, future work that considers other bacteria groups and different bacterial metabolisms is needed to explore the broader role of bacteria in ocean Fe cycling. In this context, the global growing’ omics data from ocean observing programs can play a crucial role.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 17, 2022 - 6:45:56 AM
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Anh Le‐Duy Pham, Olivier Aumont, Lavenia Ratnarajah, Alessandro Tagliabue. Examining the Interaction Between Free‐Living Bacteria and Iron in the Global Ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, American Geophysical Union, 2022, 36 (5), pp.e2021GB007194. ⟨10.1029/2021gb007194⟩. ⟨hal-03691796⟩

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