What is it about?

Atmospheric dust delivers essential nutrients to phytoplankton growing in surface waters of the Southern Ocean. We have shown for the first time that the different amounts of iron and manganese contained within dust can influence the physiology and growth of natural Southern Ocean phytoplankton.

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Why is it important?

The delivery of iron-rich dust to phytoplankton growing in the Southern Ocean is thought to have strongly controlled atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations during the last glacial cycle. Our findings show that manganese contained within dust may also be an important factor under past as well as future climate states.

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This page is a summary of: Phytoplankton responses to dust addition in the Fe–Mn co-limited eastern Pacific sub-Antarctic differ by source region, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2220111120.
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