Differences in the biological carbon pump at three subtropical ocean sites



[1] We report primary production of organic matter and organic carbon removal from three subtropical open ocean time-series stations, two located in the Atlantic and one in the Pacific, to quantify the biological components of the oceanic carbon pump. We find that within subtropical gyres, export production varies considerably despite similar phytoplankton biomass and productivity. We provide evidence that the removal of organic carbon is linked to differences in nutrient input into the mixed layer, both from eddy induced mixing and dinitrogen fixation. These findings contribute to our knowledge of the spatial heterogeneity of the subtropical oceans, which make up more than 50% of all ocean area and are thought to spread in the course of CO2- induced global warming.