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Authors: Berline, L.* 
Stemman, L.* 
Vichi, M.* 
Lombard, F.* 
Gorsky, G.* 
Title: Impact of appendicularians on detritus and export fluxes: a model approach at Dyfamed site
Issue Date: 2011
Series/Report no.: 6/33(2011)
DOI: 10.1093/plankt/fbq16
Keywords: BFM
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.01. Analytical and numerical modeling 
03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.07. Physical and biogeochemical interactions 
03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.01. Biogeochemical cycles 
03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.04. Ecosystems 
Abstract: So far, the role of appendicularians in the biogeochemical cycling of organic matter has been largely overlooked. Appendicularians represent only a fraction of total mesozooplankton biomass, however these ubiquitous zooplankters have very high filtration and growth rates compared to copepods, and produce numerous fecal pellets and filtering houses contributing to export production by aggregating small marine particles. To study their quantitative impact on biogeochemical flux, we have included this group in the biogeochemical flux model, using a recently developed ecophysiological model. One-dimensional annual simulations of the pelagic ecosystem including appendicularians were conducted with realistic surface forcing for the year 2000, using data from the DyFAMed open ocean station. The appendicularian grazing impact was generally low, but appendicularians increased detritus production by 8% and export production by 55% compared to a simulation without appendicularians. Therefore, current biogeochemical models lacking appendicularians probably under, or misestimate the detritus and export production by omitting the pathway from small-sized plankton to fast sinking detritus. Detritus production and export rates are 60% lower than the estimates from mesotrophic sites, showing that appendicularians’ role is lower but still significant in oligotrophic environments. The simulated annual export at 200 m exceeds sediment trap values by 44%, suggesting an intense degradation during the sinking of appendicularian detritus, supported by observations made at other sites. Thus, degradation and grazing of appendicularian detritus need better quantification if we are to accurately assess the role of appendicularia in export flux.
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