August 15, 2003-July 31, 2005
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This award supports a short-term U.S-Japan-Hong Kong Planning Visit in preparation for a long-term collaborative research project studying Fe effects on ecosystem structure in the Sub arctic Pacific. The collaborators are Professor Mark Wells at the University of Maine and Professor Shigenobu Takeda at the University of Tokyo in Japan and Professor Paul Harrison at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Virtually the entire Sub arctic Pacific to the Aleutian Islands is a High Nitrate Low Chlorophyll (HNLC) region, characterized by persistently elevated concentrations of macronutrients throughout the year. Independent studies have demonstrated that a shortage of the micronutrient iron is responsible for this condition. This finding is important because by controlling the export of carbon from surface waters, iron may influence atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and thus global climate. The researchers hope to plan a series of measurements that would be extremely important for understanding the longer term and broader effect of the iron enrichment. The measurements may also answer questions associated with the long-term response of the plankton community, changes in the iron chemistry and the fate of the carbon produced by the Fe enrichment.
The collaborators have complementary scientific expertise in the field. Understanding the effects of iron inputs (natural or globally engineered) on ecosystem structure and carbon export in these waters is essential to obtain a predictive understanding of how changes in iron inputs may affect global climate. The exchange of ideas and data with Japanese and Hong Kong experts in the field will enable U.S. participants to advance their own work, and will set the stage for future international collaborative projects.
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Wells, Mark L., "U.S.-Japan-Hong Kong Planning Visit: Long Term Collaborative Research Studying Fe Effects on Ecosystem Structure in the Subarctic Pacific" (2006). University of Maine Office of Research Administration: Grant Reports. 170.