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The biological pump


The biological pump is the set of processes by which inorganic carbon (e.g., carbon dioxide) is fixed into organic matter via photosynthesis and then sequestered away from the atmosphere generally by transport into the deep ocean. This may be accomplished by the passive sinking of particulate organic matter, through the vertical migration of zooplankton, or the downwelling of surface waters rich in dissolved organic matter. In addition to concentrating carbon in the deep sea, the biological pump also significantly affects the distribution of a number of different chemical constituents of ocean water. There is keen interest in being able to predict both the overall capacity and the efficiency of the biological pump in different places and at different times (including in the future). The physical environment, the type of phytoplankton present, the activities of zooplankton, the presence of biominerals and clay minerals, and the structure of the food web all play important roles in determining both the capacity and efficiency of the biological pump on local and regional scales, complicating efforts to portray the biological pump in models.
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hal-00926474 , version 1 (09-01-2014)



Christina L. de La Rocha, Uta Passow. The biological pump. Heinrich D. Holland; Karl K. Turekian. Treatise on Geochemistry, Second Edition, vol. 8, 8, Elsevier Science, pp.93-122, 2014, Treatise on Geochemistry, 978-0-08-098300-4. ⟨10.1016/B978-0-08-095975-7.00604-5⟩. ⟨hal-00926474⟩
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