A coordinated study of the geochemistry of major biochemical classes has been carried out in the equatorial Pacific Ocean (EqPac) as part of the U.S. Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS). Amino acids, carbohydrates, pigments, and lipids were measured at the molecular level in plankton, sediment trap material, and sediments along a transect from 12°N to 12°S along 140°W to address questions related to the efficiency and dynamics of the carbon pump in the equatorial Pacific and how processes in the water column affect the burial of biogenic components. Here we present an overview of our findings, discussing fluxes and relative reactivities of the biochemical classes. We conclude with an inventory of the major particulate biochemicals in the equatorial Pacific, in which the proportion of organic carbon amenable to conventional molecular-level analyses decreases from ~82% in plankton to ~20% in sediments, demonstrating the need for new analytical approaches to characterize residual macromolecular material.
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- Fluxes of Major Biochemicals in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean
Stuart G. Wakeham
John I. Hedges
- Springer Netherlands