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Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems

Understanding changes in ocean biology is an important component of NASA’s Carbon Cycle and Ecosystem Roadmap. Many of these changes and, most importantly, the causes of many of these changes can be tracked from space by monitoring the intracellular concentration of phytoplankton pigments that respond to light-, nutrient-, and temperature-stress. The remotely-sensed chlorophyll-to-particulate-backscattering ratio, Chl:bbp, is a recently proposed proxy for intracellular pigment concentrations and captures first order trends in phytoplankton physiological parameters. However, intracellular pigment concentrations and Chl:bbp vary dramatically in the ocean, because they also depends on phytoplankton species and cell size, thus introducing uncertainties in the inferred phytoplankton physiology. Here we propose to investigate the effects of phytoplankton size on Chl:bbp in order to accurately derive phytoplankton stress fields from space. To accomplish this objective, we will synthesize and analyze data from novel remote-sensing algorithms, as well as from new in-situ data sets on inherent optical properties. The expected improved understanding of phytoplankton physiology will advance our ability to ascertain feedback mechanisms between the global ocean and natural and anthropogenic influences. Overall, the outcomes from this project will contribute to two of the four NASA Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry overarching goals: "Understanding and quantifying the impacts and feedbacks of Earth System processes on the global variability of ocean biology" and "Exploring the development of new biological and biogeochemical observations beyond traditional ocean color".

Project PI: Giorgio Dall'Olmo/ Oregon State University

Department of Botany and Plant Pathology Cordley Hall 2082 Oregon State University Corvallis, Oregon 97331-2902

Phone: 541-737-5289

Email: behrenfm@science.oregonstate.edu

http://www.science.oregonstate.edu/bpp/faculty/Behrenfeld/index.html

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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 16, 2010

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