Recalcitrant dissolved organic carbon fractions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

371 Scopus citations


Marine dissolved organic carbon (DOC) exhibits a spectrum of reactivity, from very fast turnover of the most bioavailable forms in the surface ocean to long-lived materials circulating within the ocean abyss. These disparate reactivities group DOC by fractions with distinctive functions in the cycling of carbon, ranging from support of the microbial loop to involvement in the biological pump to a hypothesized major source/sink of atmospheric CO2 driving paleoclimate variability. Here, the major fractions constituting the global ocean's recalcitrant DOC pool are quantitatively and qualitatively characterized with reference to their roles in carbon biogeochemistry. A nomenclature for the fractions is proposed based on those roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-445
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Marine Science
StatePublished - Jan 3 2013


  • dissolved organic matter
  • ocean carbon cycle
  • organic matter reactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography


Dive into the research topics of 'Recalcitrant dissolved organic carbon fractions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this