Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Cantoni C., Civitarese G., Ibello V., Sparnocchia S. Nitrogen and carbon isotopic variability and nutrient dynamics in the open Mediterranean Sea. In: 2nd European Geosciences Union General Assembly (Vienna, 24-29 April 2005). Abstract, vol. 7 article n. 1607-7962/gra/EGU05-A-05. EGU, 2005.
The Mediterranean Sea is an olygotrophic semi-enclosed basin, surrounded by populated countries, where continental and atmospheric inputs play important roles in nutrient and carbon cycles. Recently, studies of nitrogen and carbon stable isotopes have been introduced in order to better understand carbon sources and nitrogen biogeochemistry in the open Mediterranean environments. The use of these tracers is not simple, since their isotopic values are affected by the signature of the sources and are modified by the biological processes involved in nutrient assimilation, primary production and trophic relations within the food web. Here, we report some results obtained during three cruises in the Mediterranean Sea carried out in spring and early summer 2002 and 2003, in three key areas: the North Balearic Front (NBF), the Algero - Provencal Basin (APB), and a station off Creta in the Cretan Sea (CS). Our aim was to deepen the knowledge on the dynamics of nitrogen and carbon isotopes in suspended particulate organic matter (POM) in relation to the gradients in nutrient concentration, the nutrient availability, the biological productivity, and the water circulation, in order to use these isotopic tools in the study of the nitrogen dynamics in the euphotic zone. An additional goal was to evaluate the variations of delta13C - POC related to biological activity in the high productive NBF zone to asses the potential use of delta13C signature to trace terrestrial organic matter also in open Mediterranean sea.
URL: http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU05/05109/EGU05-J-05109.pdf
Subject biogeochemical cycles, North Balearic Front, Western Mediterranean

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