Biogeochemical model of nitrogen cycling in Ahe (French Polynesia), a South Pacific coral atoll with pearl farming

Type Article
Date 2021-08
Language English
Author(s) Seceh C.1, Pinazo C.1, Rodier Martine1, Lajaunie-Salla K.1, Mazoyer C.1, Grenz C.1, Le Gendre RomainORCID2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, Aix Marseille Univ., Université de Toulon, CNRS, IRD, MIO UM 110, 13288 Marseille, France
2 : IFREMER, UMR9220 ENTROPIE, IRD, IFREMER, Université de la Réunion, CNRS, Université de Nouvelle-Calédonie, BP 32078, 98897 Nouméa, New Caledonia
Source Marine Pollution Bulletin (0025-326X) (Elsevier BV), 2021-08 , Vol. 169 , P. 112526 (12p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112526
WOS© Times Cited 4
Keyword(s) Biogeochemical model, Ahe atoll, Pearl farming, Phytoplankton, Nitrogen cycle

A biogeochemical model (ECO3M-Atoll) was configured to simulate the lower food web in Ahe Atoll lagoon where phytoplankton is mostly nitrogen limited. Understanding the dynamics of phytoplankton – the main food source for oysters – is crucial for the management and the allocation of new pearl farming sites. After parametrizing the model with in situ observations, we tested different hypotheses about nitrogen cycling (benthic remineralization, atmospheric N fixation, etc.) and compared the results to a large observational dataset. Model results show that simulated (pico- and nano-) phytoplankton biomass and nitrogen concentrations are close to in situ data. The simulated biogeochemical processes (uptake and primary production) are also very similar to the observed values. In the model, primary production ranged from 1.00 to 2.00 mg C m−3 h−1 for pico- and 0.40 to 1.00 mg C m−3 h−1 for nanophytoplankton; mean N uptake was 2.02 μmol N m−3 h−1 for pico- and 1.25 μmol N m−3 h−1 for nanophytoplankton.

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