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Hodson, Andy; Nowak, Aga; Sabacka, Marie; Jungblut, Anne; Navarro, Francisco; Pearce, David; Ávila-Jiménez, María Luisa; Convey, Peter; Vieira, Gonçalo (2017)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal: Nature Communications
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: F800, F700, Article
Iron supplied by glacial weathering results in pronounced hotspots of biological production in an otherwise iron-limited Southern Ocean Ecosystem. However, glacial iron inputs are thought to be dominated by icebergs. Here we show that surface runoff from three island groups of the maritime Antarctic exports more filterable (<0.45 μm) iron (6–81 kg km−2 a−1) than icebergs (0.0–1.2 kg km−2 a−1). Glacier-fed streams also export more acid-soluble iron (27.0–18,500 kg km−2 a−1) associated with suspended sediment than icebergs (0–241 kg km−2 a−1). Significant fluxes of filterable and sediment-derived iron (1–10 Gg a−1 and 100–1,000 Gg a−1, respectively) are therefore likely to be delivered by runoff from the Antarctic continent. Although estuarine removal processes will greatly reduce their availability to coastal ecosystems, our results clearly indicate that riverine iron fluxes need to be accounted for as the volume of Antarctic melt increases in response to 21st century climate change.
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    • We acknowledge Natural Environment Research Council grant NE/H014446/1 (A.H., M.S., D.P. and P.C.), Plan Nacional de I þ D þ I grant CTM2014-56473-R (F.N.) and Fundac¸a˜o para a Cieˆncia e a Tecnologia grant PTDC/AAG-GLO/3908/2012 (G.V.). The Portuguese Polar Program, Bulgarian Antarctic Institute and British Antarctic Survey provided logistical support for the fieldwork. In addition, work at South Georgia was supported by staff at King Edward Point and a Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Research Grant (A.J., A.H. and A.N.). We thank Steve Colwell and Roger Worland (British Antarctic Survey) for meteorological data from South Georgia and Signy Island.
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  • FCT | PTDC/AAG-GLO/3908/2012

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