Iron is a critical nutrient for all plant growth in the oceans, but its recycling processes are not well understood which makes climate and ecosystem modeling difficult. A new paper led by Alessandro Tagliabue (U. Liverpool) with collaborators including Daniel Ohnemus at UGA Skidaway shows that unlike traditional nutrients like phosphorus which are efficiently recycled and can accumulate in the ocean, iron recycling is highly inefficient because it is removed onto particles by scavenging. These new insights will combine with future field and modeling efforts to reduce uncertainty in global climate model projections.
Open-access research article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12775-5
Citation: Tagliabue, A., Bowie, A.R., DeVries, T., Ellwood, M.J., Landing, W.M., Milne, A., Ohnemus, D.C., Twining, B.S., and Boyd, P.W. The interplay between regeneration and scavenging fluxes drives ocean iron cycling. Nature Communications 10, 4960 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41467-019-12775-5