Respiration in the open ocean

Paul A. Del Giorgio*, Carlos Duarte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

398 Scopus citations

Abstract

A key question when trying to understand the global carbon cycle is whether the oceans are net sources or sinks of carbon. This will depend on the production of organic matter relative to the decomposition due to biological respiration. Estimates of respiration are available for the top layers, the mesopelagic layer, and the abyssal waters and sediments of various ocean regions. Although the total open ocean respiration is uncertain, it is probably substantially greater than most current estimates of particulate organic matter production. Nevertheless, whether the biota act as a net source or sink of carbon remains an open question.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-384
Number of pages6
JournalNature
Volume420
Issue number6914
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 28 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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