Microbial production of recalcitrant dissolved organic matter: Long-term carbon storage in the global ocean

Nianzhi Jiao, Gerhard J. Herndl, Dennis A. Hansell, Ronald Benner, Gerhard Kattner, Steven W. Wilhelm, David L. Kirchman, Markus G. Weinbauer, Tingwei Luo, Feng Chen, Farooq Azam

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

624 Scopus citations

Abstract

The biological pump is a process whereby CO 2 in the upper ocean is fixed by primary producers and transported to the deep ocean as sinking biogenic particles or as dissolved organic matter. The fate of most of this exported material is remineralization to CO 2, which accumulates in deep waters until it is eventually ventilated again at the sea surface. However, a proportion of the fixed carbon is not mineralized but is instead stored for millennia as recalcitrant dissolved organic matter. The processes and mechanisms involved in the generation of this large carbon reservoir are poorly understood. Here, we propose the microbial carbon pump as a conceptual framework to address this important, multifaceted biogeochemical problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-599
Number of pages7
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Volume8
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Jiao, N., Herndl, G. J., Hansell, D. A., Benner, R., Kattner, G., Wilhelm, S. W., Kirchman, D. L., Weinbauer, M. G., Luo, T., Chen, F., & Azam, F. (2010). Microbial production of recalcitrant dissolved organic matter: Long-term carbon storage in the global ocean. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 8(8), 593-599. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro2386