loading page

Elemental Stoichiometry of Particulate Organic Matter across the Atlantic Ocean
  • +3
  • Adam J Fagan,
  • Tatsuro Tanioka,
  • Alyse A Larkin,
  • Jenna Alyson Lee,
  • Nathan S Garcia,
  • Adam Camillo Martiny
Adam J Fagan
University of California, Irvine
Author Profile
Tatsuro Tanioka
University of California, Irvine
Author Profile
Alyse A Larkin
University of California Irvine
Author Profile
Jenna Alyson Lee
Princeton University
Author Profile
Nathan S Garcia
UC Irvine Earth System Science
Author Profile
Adam Camillo Martiny
University of California, Irvine

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile


Recent studies show that stoichiometric elemental ratios of marine ecosystems are not static at Redfield proportions but vary systematically between biomes. However, the wider Atlantic Ocean is under-sampled for particulate organic matter (POM) elemental composition, especially as it comes to phosphorus. Thus, it is uncertain how environmental variation in this region translates into shifts in C:N:P. To address this, we analyzed hydrography, genomics, and POM concentrations from 877 stations on the meridional transects AMT28 and C13.5, spanning the Atlantic Ocean. We observed nutrient-replete, high-latitude ecosystem C:N:P to be significantly lower than the oligotrophic gyres. Latitudinal and zonal differences in elemental stoichiometry were linked to overall nutrient supply as well as N vs. P limitation. C:P and N:P were generally higher in the P-stressed northern region compared to southern hemisphere regions. We also detected a zonal difference linked to a westward deepening nutricline and a shift from N to P limitation. We also evaluated possible seasonal changes in C:N:P across the basin and predicted these to be limited. Overall, this study confirms latitudinal shifts in surface ocean POM ratios but reveals previously unrecognized hemisphere and zonal gradients. This work demonstrates the importance of understanding how regional shifts in hydrography and type of nutrient stress shape the coupling between Atlantic Ocean nutrient and carbon cycles.
11 May 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
13 May 2023Published in ESS Open Archive