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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

The Ocean's labile DOC supply chain

Moran, Mary Ann; Ferrer-Gonzalez, Frank X.; Fu, He; Nowinski, Brent; Olofsson, Malin; Powers, McKenzie A.; Schreier, Jeremy E.; Schroer, William F.; Smith, Christa B.; Uchimiya, Mario


Microbes of the surface ocean release, consume, and exchange labile metabolites at time scales of minutes to days. The details of this important step in the global carbon cycle remain poorly resolved, largely due to the methodological challenges of studying a diverse pool of metabolites that are produced and consumed nearly simultaneously. In this perspective, a new compilation of published data builds on previous studies to obtain an updated estimate of the fraction of marine net primary production that passes through the labile dissolved organic carbon (DOC) pool. In agreement with previous studies, our data mining and modeling approaches hypothesize that about half of ocean net primary production is processed through the labile DOC pool. The fractional contributions from three major sources are estimated at 0.4 for living phytoplankton, 0.4 for dead and dying phytoplankton, and 0.2 for heterotrophic microbes and mesoplankton.

Published in

Limnology and Oceanography
2022, volume: 67, number: 5, pages: 1007-1021
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Moran, Mary Ann
University System of Georgia
Ferrer-Gonzalez, Frank X.
University System of Georgia
Fu, He
University System of Georgia
Nowinski, Brent
University System of Georgia
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
University of Georgia
Powers, McKenzie A.
University System of Georgia
Schreier, Jeremy E.
University System of Georgia
Schroer, William F.
University System of Georgia
Smith, Christa B.
University System of Georgia
Uchimiya, Mario
University System of Georgia

UKÄ Subject classification

Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

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