Significance of atmospheric-derived fixed nitrogen on productivity of the Sargasso Sea Academic Article uri icon


  • Recently, it has been suggested that marine primary productivity can be influenced by direct inputs of fixed inorganic nitrogen (NO-3, NO-2 and NH+4) from atmospheric deposition, and that this may be important in shaping trends of productivity in coastal areas1. It is known that anthropogenic contaminants are transported from North America to the Sargasso Sea, affecting the chemistry of rain water over this oligotrophic ocean area. Here we present data collected between 1982 and 1984 as part of the Western Atlantic Ocean Experiment (WATOX) by a wet-only precipitation collector on Bermuda. Our measurements of the anthropogenic fixed nitrogen in the rainwater samples are discussed in the context of the amount of nitrogen required to support 'new' primary production in the Sargasso Sea. We show that the effects of atmospheric deposition are insignificant 1986 Nature Publishing Group.

published proceedings

  • Nature

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Knap, A., Jickells, T., Pszenny, A., & Galloway, J.

citation count

  • 96

complete list of authors

  • Knap, Anthony||Jickells, Timothy||Pszenny, Alex||Galloway, James

publication date

  • March 1986

published in