© American Geophysical Union
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Online ISSN: 1944-9186
Silicic acid biogeochemistry in the Gulf of California
Silicon is an essential nutrient for the growth of siliceous phytoplankton, which accounts for a significant amount of marine primary production. Constraints on silicic acid limit primary production and carbon export, so biogeochemical silicon cycling influences the carbon cycle and climate. Silicon cycling has been studied mostly in iron-limited regions of the ocean, and not much is known about the effects of iron availability on silicon cycling in coastal upwelling systems. Pichevin et al. (2012) investigated nutrient profiles and sedimentary records from the Gulf of California, which is not limited by iron year round. They found that iron limitation even in this type of setting is an important factor in silicon cycling in coastal upwelling regions.