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The organic complexation of iron in the Ross sea
Gerringa, L.J.A.; Laan, P.; Arrigo, K.R.; van Dijken, G.L.; Alderkamp, A.-C. (2019). The organic complexation of iron in the Ross sea. Mar. Chem. 215: 103672.

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In: Marine Chemistry. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-4203; e-ISSN 1872-7581, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Gerringa, L.J.A., meer
  • Laan, P., meer
  • Arrigo, K.R.
  • van Dijken, G.L.
  • Alderkamp, A.-C.

    The Ross Sea Polynya (RSP) has the highest primary production of Antarctic waters. Iron (Fe) is one of the most important growth limiting factors in the Southern Ocean. Dissolved iron (DFe)-binding organic ligands play an important ecological role because they increase the residence time of the scarce Fe. Therefore, we studied the DFe-binding organic ligands in the vicinity of the Ross Sea during a cruise between 20 December 2013 and 5 January 2014. The DFe-binding organic ligands were measured using Competing Ligand Exchange Cathodic Stripping Voltammetry (CLE-CSV) with TAC as competing ligand. The DFe-binding organic ligand concentrations always exceeded the DFe concentrations except in the bottom nepheloid layer of the RSP. No relationship was found between depth and DFe-binding organic ligand concentrations in the RSP indicating that these ligands are resistant to degradation and are probably exported by high salinity shelf water into the circumpolar current. DFe-binding organic ligand concentrations were highest in the RSP and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) west of the Ross Sea, in association with seasonal phytoplankton blooms, although no correlation was found with parameters reflecting phytoplankton abundance or species. Phytoplankton sources and sinks of DFe-binding organic ligands are likely related to the seasonal progression of the bloom. In 39% of the samples, two DFe-binding organic ligand groups were distinguished based on the difference in binding strength. The distinction was especially clear in the RSP and in the ACC west of the RSP (54 and 77% of the samples, respectively) where blooms occurred and much less in the low biomass waters of the ACC east of the RSP and ice covered eastern part of the Ross Sea (15 and 10% of the samples, respectively). In these waters, other environmental factors, like sea ice melt, probably explain the absence of distinct relationships between primary production and ligand characteristics.

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