Calcium carbonate precipitation induced by the growth of the marine cyanobacteria Trichodesmium

Kranz, Sven A., Dieter Wolf-Gladrow, Gernot Nehrke, Gerald Langer, and Björn Rost

Limnol. Oceanogr., 55(6), 2010, 2563-2569 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2010.55.6.2563

ABSTRACT: In this laboratory study, we monitored the buildup of biomass and concomitant shift in seawater carbonate chemistry over the course of a Trichodesmium bloom under different phosphorus (P) availability. During exponential growth, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) decreased, while pH increased until maximum cell densities were reached. Once P became depleted, DIC decreased even further and total alkalinity (TA) dropped, accompanied by precipitation of aragonite. Under P-replete conditions, DIC increased and TA remained constant in the postbloom phase. A diffusion-reaction model was employed to estimate changes in carbonate chemistry of the diffusive boundary layer. This study demonstrates that Trichodesmium can induce precipitation of aragonite from seawater and further provides possible explanations about underlying mechanisms.

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