Isoscape Models of the Southern Ocean: Predicting Spatial and Temporal Variability in Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Compositions of Particulate Organic Matter

St John Glew, K., Espinasse, B., Hunt, B.P.V., Pakhomov, E.A., Bury, S.J., Pinkerton, M., Nodder, S.D., Gutiérrez‐Rodríguez, A., et al. (2021). Isoscape Models of the Southern Ocean: Predicting Spatial and Temporal Variability in Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Compositions of Particulate Organic Matter. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 35 (9) e2020GB006901. 10.1029/2020GB006901.

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Project: Modeling Prey Isocapes in the North Atlantic for Advancement in Predator Ecology (ISOMOD, H2020 894296)

Abstract

Polar marine ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Warming temperatures, freshening seawater, and disruption to sea-ice formation potentially all have cascading effects on food webs. New approaches are needed to better understand spatiotemporal interactions among biogeochemical processes at the base of Southern Ocean food webs. In marine systems, isoscapes (models of the spatial variation in the stable isotopic composition) of carbon and nitrogen have proven useful in identifying spatial variation in a range of biogeochemical processes, such as nutrient utilization by phytoplankton. Isoscapes provide a baseline for interpreting stable isotope compositions of higher trophic level animals in movement, migration, and diet research. Here, we produce carbon and nitrogen isoscapes across the entire Southern Ocean (>40°S) using surface particulate organic matter isotope data, collected over the past 50 years. We use Integrated Nested Laplace Approximation-based approaches to predict mean annual isoscapes and four seasonal isoscapes using a suite of environmental data as predictor variables. Clear spatial gradients in δ13C and δ15N values were predicted across the Southern Ocean, consistent with previous statistical and mechanistic views of isotopic variability in this region. We identify strong seasonal variability in both carbon and nitrogen isoscapes, with key implications for the use of static or annual average isoscape baselines in animal studies attempting to document seasonal migratory or foraging behaviors.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation (BEC)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2021 07:25
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2021 07:25
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/17512

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