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Understanding predicted shifts in diazotroph biogeography using resource competition theory

Abstract : We examine the sensitivity of the biogeography of nitrogen fixers to a warming climate and increased aeo-lian iron deposition in the context of a global earth system model. We employ concepts from the resource-ratio theory to provide a simplifying and transparent interpretation of the results. First we demonstrate that a set of clearly defined, eas-ily diagnosed provinces are consistent with the theory. Us-ing this framework we show that the regions most vulnera-ble to province shifts and changes in diazotroph biogeogra-phy are the equatorial and South Pacific, and central Atlantic. Warmer and dustier climates favor diazotrophs due to an in-crease in the ratio of supply rate of iron to fixed nitrogen. We suggest that the emergent provinces could be a standard diagnostic for global change models, allowing for rapid and transparent interpretation and comparison of model predic-tions and the underlying mechanisms. The analysis suggests that monitoring of real world province boundaries, indicated by transitions in surface nutrient concentrations, would pro-vide a clear and easily interpreted indicator of ongoing global change.
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S Dutkiewicz, B.A. Ward, J.R. Scott, M. J. Follows. Understanding predicted shifts in diazotroph biogeography using resource competition theory. Biogeosciences, European Geosciences Union, 2014, 11 (19), pp.5445 - 5461. ⟨10.5194/bg-11-5445-2014⟩. ⟨hal-01103843⟩



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