Planktonic foraminifera organic carbon isotopes as archives of upper ocean carbon cycling

The carbon cycle is a key regulator of Earth’s climate. On geological time-scales, our understanding of particulate organic matter (POM), an important upper ocean carbon pool that fuels ecosystems and an integrated part of the carbon cycle, is limited. Here we investigate the relationship of planktonic foraminifera-bound organic carbon isotopes (δ13Corg-pforam) with δ13Corg of POM (δ13Corg-POM). We compare δ13Corg-pforam of several planktonic foraminifera species from plankton nets and recent sediment cores with δ13Corg-POM on a N-S Atlantic Ocean transect. Our results indicate that δ13Corg-pforam of planktonic foraminifera are remarkably similar to δ13Corg-POM. Application of our method on a glacial sample furthermore provided a δ13Corg-pforam value similar to glacial δ13Corg-POM predictions. We thus show that δ13Corg-pforam is a promising proxy to reconstruct environmental conditions in the upper ocean, providing a route to isolate past variations in δ13Corg-POM and better understanding of the evolution of the carbon cycle over geological time-scales.


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Authors: Hoogakker, Babette A.A., Anderson, Caroline, Paoloni, Tommaso, Stott, Andrew, Grant, Helen, Keenan, Patrick, Mahaffey, Claire, Blackbird, Sabena, McClymont, Erin L., Rickaby, Ros, Poulton, Alex, Peck, Victoria L. ORCIDORCID record for Victoria L. Peck

On this site: Victoria Peck
17 August, 2022
Nature Communications / 13
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